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Full text of "The mythology and rites of the British druids, ascertained by national documents; and compared with the general traditions and customs of heathenism, as illustrated by the most eminent antiquaries of our age. With an appendix, containing ancient poems and extracts, with some remarks on ancient British coins .."

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8VB   OCVLIS    FOSITA    NEGLIGIMUS, — PlIH.   L.  VIII.   £pi  20. 




,      '  1809.     , 

I.  BARtifiLD,  PrinWr  91.  W»rilour-SU«e«- 




THE  noble  frankness  with  wJiich^ovir 

Lordship  grants  a  favour,  encourages  me  to  hope, 

that  you  will  pardon  the  liberty  I  now  take,  in  pre' 

fixing  your  name  to  an  Essay  upon  the  Mythology 

and  Rites  of  the  Heathen  Britons. 

It  is  with  diffidence  I  lay  this  subject  before  a 
man  of  your  Liordship's  distinguished  character; 
whether  in  reference  to  private  worth,  to  reputation 
in  the  world  of  letters,  to  rank  in  society,  or  to  that 
zeal  and  ability  which,  you  have  so  successfully  dis" 
played  in  the  defence  of  our  holy  religion. 

But  whatever  the  merits  of  this  Work  may  be,  I 
eagerly  embrace  the  opportunity  which  it  affords  me, 
of  acknowledging  a  debt  of  gratitude,  in  the  au- 
dience of  the  Public. 

*^  When  Mr.  Hardinge,  amongst  his  other  acts  of 
generosity,  which  it  is  impossible  for  me  to  enumerate 
or  to  forget,  pointed  me  out  to  your  Lordship's 
notice,  under  the  character  of  his  friend,  itwa^syour 
~good  pleasure  to  place  me  in  a  respectable  station  in 
the  Church,  and  thus  confer  upon  me  the  comfort  of 

Your  Lordship^ s  manner  of  bestowing  a  benefit^ 
is  a  great  addition  to  its  value;  and  whilst  I  am 
offering  my  humble  tribute  of  thanks,  it  emboldens 
me  to  aspire  to  tlie  preservation  of  your  good  opinion.. 

I  have  the  honour  to  remain. 

Your  Lordship's  much  obliged 
and  devoted  humble  servant, 



L  HE  first  section  of  the  ensuing  Essay,  effects  the 
principal  objects  of  a  Preface;  yet  the  Author  has 
not  the  confidence  to  intrude  upon  his  Reader,  with- 
out preiiiising  a  few  pages,  to  bespeak  his  attention, 
and  conciliate  his  esteem  —  without  offering  some 
apology  for  the  nature  of  his  subject,  and  the  man- 
ner in  which  it  has  been  treated. 

To  some  persons,  the  utility  of  such  a  work  may 
not  be  obvious.  It  may  be  asked — JVhat  interest 
has  tfie  present  age,  in  a  view  of  the  errors  and 
prejudices  of  the  Pagan  Britons  ? 

To  obviate  this,  and  similar  inquiries,  I  would 
suggest  the  reflection,  that  the  history  of  mankind  is, 
in  a  great  measure,  the  history  of  errors  and  pre-> 
judices— that  the  superstition,  we  have  now  to  con-> 
template,  however  absurd  in  itself,  affected  the 
general  tone  of  thinking  in  several  districts  of  Bri' 
tain— -that  its  influence  continued  to  recent  times, 
and  has  scarcely  vanished  at  the  present  day.  To  an 
age  of  general  inquiry,  an  investigation  of  the  form 
and  principles  of  this  sup^rstitiQU,  must  surely  be  a 
^subject  of  interest. 

In  our  times,  a  spirit  of  research,  which  few  are 
so, unjust  as  to  impute  to  idle  curiosity,  embraces  all 
the  regions  of  the  known  world:  and  is  our  own 
country  the  only  spot  that  must  be  deemed  uuworthy 
of  our  attention? 

Ancient  and  authentic  documents,  of  the  opinion^ 
and  customs  of  the  old  Britons,  have  been  preserved, 
though  long  concealed  by  the  shades  of  a  difficult 
and  obsolete  language.  And  can  a  dispassionate 
eJ^amination  of  their  contents,  which  are  totally  uu- 

a  3 


known  to  the  Public,  be,^deein©d  a  subject  of  no 
interest  or  utility  ? 

These*  documents  are  foundf,  upon  investigation, 
to  develope  a  system  of*t6ligion,  which,  for  many 
ages,  influenced  the  affairs  of  the  human  race,  iiot 
only  in  these  islandsji^but  also  iri  the  adjaQent  regions 
of  Europe:  aijd  are  we  not  to  inquire  in  what  this 
religion  consisted,  and  wliat  hold  il  took  <?.i  the  mjqd 
of  man?  Or  is  it  an  useless  task,  to  expose  tibe 
origin  of  some  absurd  customs Jtnd  prqjiidices,  which 
are  still  cherished  in  certain  ."'corners  of  Qur  land? 
But  it  will  be  said— 7%e  state  of  society  gmongst 
the  ancient  Britons  was  riide  and  unpolished ; 
md  theif  very  religion  opposed  ih.e  progre&s  of 
ickmlfand  of  lettePS. 

Be  this  admitted :  yet  the  Britons,  witU  all  their 
barbarism  and  absurdities,  constituted  a  link  in  the 
great  chain  of  history.  In  addition  to  this,  their 
aifairs  derive  some  importance  from  their  rank 
amongst  our  own  progenitors,  their  connection  with 
our  native  country,  and  the  remains  of  their  monu- 
ments, which  still  appear  in  our  fields.  A  prospect 
of  the  few  advantages  which  they  enjoyed,  may  fbir- 
nish  no  un|)leasant  subject  of  comparison  with  our 
own  times.  A  candid  exposure  of  that  mass  of 
error  unde?  which  they  groaned,  may  inspire  ns 
with  oiore  lively  gtatitude  for  the  knowledge  of  tfee 
true  religion,  and,  perhaps,  suggfe^t  a  seasonkb'le 
caution  agaips^  the  indulgence  of  \miii  speculation 
Upon  saored  svtbjects-^a  weakness  to  which  the  hu- 
man mind  is  prone  in  every  age. 

Upon  the  whole,  then,  I  humbly  conceive,  that  an 
examination  of  our  national  reliques  has  been  hi- 
therto a  desideratum  in  British  literature ;  that  the 
individual  who  has  now  attempted  to  draw  them  out 
of  obi^curity,  is  entitled  to  the  candid  attention  of 
tib@  PiitbUa;  and  that  the  tiine  of  the  Reader,  ^ho 


may  honour  this  volume  with  a  candid  perusal,  will 
not  have  been  spent  in  vain. 

But  of  the  manner  in  which  this  examination  is 
conducted  in  the  following  Essay,  I  must  s|)eak  with 
less  confidence.  As  far  as  I  know  my  own  heart, 
truth,  without  favour  or  prejudice  to  the  memory  of 
our  misguided  ancestors,  has  been  my  object. 
Touching  the  light  in  which  I  view  their  ancient 
superstition,  I  must  confess  that  I  have  not  been  the 
first  in  representing  the  druidical,  as  having  had 
some  connection  with  the  patriarchal  religion ;  but 
1  know  of  no  work  already  before  the  Public,  which 
has  unravelled  the  very  slender  threads  by  whic^  that 
connection  was  maintained. 

This  difficult  task  I  have  attempted,  by  the  aid  of 
those  Bards  who  were  professed  votaries  of  Dru- 
idism ;  and  the  undertaking  was  greatly  facilitated 
by  the  labours  of  Mr,  Bryant,  which  present  a 
master-key  to  the  mythology  of  the  ancient  world. 
That  I  cannot  give  my  assent  to  the  whole  of  this 
great  man's  opinion,  has  been  already  acknowledged :  * 
but  whilst  I  allow  myself  to  object  against  the  slip' 
per,  I  contemplate  the  masterly  outlines  of  the  sta- 
tue, with  respect  and  admiration. 

It  is  to  be  regretted,  that,this  eminent  mythologist 
was  wholly  unacquainted  with  the  written  documents 
of  Druidism,  preserved  in  this  country.  Had  they 
been  open  to  his  investigation,  he  would  have  exhi- 
bited them  to  peculiar  advantage,  and  he  would  have 
found  them  as  strong  in  support  of  his  general  prin- 
ciples, as  any  remains  of  antiquity  whatsoever. 

I  must  here  endeavour  to  obviate  another  ob- 
jection. In  the  British  poems,  which  treat  of  hea- 
thenish superstition,  a  sentence  is  often  inserted, 
containing  the  name  of  Christy  or  some  allu- 
sion to  his  religion,  and  having  no  connection  with 
the  matter  which  precedes   or   follows.     Some  of 

^ ; -,    -   ,;.  .  T      , ^ 

•  Celt.  Res.  p.  115. 

via  , 

these  sentences  I  have  omitted,  for  obvious  reasons. 
I  have  been  not  a  little  puzzled  to  apcount  for  their 
admission  into  the  text :  but  as  all  our  remaining 
poems  were  composed  or  altered,  subsequent  to  the 
first  introduction  of  Christianity,  it  is  probable  that 
St.  Augustin  supplies  us  with  the  true  reason  of  such 

"  Qui  seducunt  per  ligaturas,  per  precantationesi, 
*'  per  machinamenta  inimici,  inserunt  praecantationi- 
"  bus  suis  nomen  Christi :  quia  jam  non  possunt 
''  seducere  Christianos,  ut  dent  venenum,  addu.nt 
**  mellis  aliquantura,  ut  per  id  quod  dulce  est,  la- 
"  teat  quod  amarum  est,  et  bibatur  ad  perniciem."* 

In  the  selection  of  matter,  the  author  has  endea- 
voured to  observe  a  medium,  between  that  fastidious 
abruptness,  which  leaves  many  of  the  great  outlines 
of  a  subject  unmarked,  and  a  minute  prolixity, 
which  scrutinizes  every  obscure  corner  of  heathen 

To  future  inquiry  he  leaves  an  open  field,  where 
some  more  handfuls  may  be  gleaned,  and  approaches 
the  reader  with  a  consciousness,  that  as  far  as  he 
has  proceeded.  His  steps  havq  been  guided  by 

The  subject  of  this  volume  having  an  intimate 
connection  with  that  of  the  Celtic  Researches,  a 
short  Index  of  that  book  is  introduced.  It  is  also 
to  be  had  separate,  and  respectfully  offered  to  my 
Subscribers,  as  a  small  tribute  of  gratitude  for  their 
liberalsupport,  and  as  an  acknowledgement  of  the 
favourable  opinion  with  which  I  have  been  honoured, 
by  some  of  the  most  distinguished  characters,  in  that 
illustrious  catalogue — men  whose  learning  and  talents 
are  acknowledged,  and  whose  judgment  will  b,e 

t.4«g,  Tvact,  r.  in  Joa^.  T.  IX.  p.  2?. 

As  to  the  animadversions  of  professed  critics,  ,some 
of  them  were  avowedly  hostile.  But  their  elaborate 
prolixity,  which  is  no  mark  of  contempt,  affords 
some  consolation  for  the  malignity  of  their  efforts. 
The  work,  and  the  strictures  which  it  occasioned,  are 
before  the  Public,  which  is  of  no  party.  To  this 
upright  and  competent  judge  I  appeal,  with  humble 
submission,  neither  vainly  pleading  an  immunity 
from  just  censure,  nor  dreading  the  effects  of  those 
sarcasms,  which  arose  from  gross  misrepresentation 
of  my  opinions,  and  perversion  of  my  principles. 

Upon  one  solitary  occasion^  I  must  beg  leave  to 
defend  my  own  cause.  The  passage  which  I  am 
about  to  quote,  is  not  singlisd  out  as  unworthy  of 
the  learning  or  candour  of  its  author,  byt  as  in- 
volving a  point,  in  which  the  Public  may  want  aii 
interpreter.  It  also  affords  me  an  opportunity  of 
stating  my  reasons,  for  understanding  the  works  of 
Taliesin  somewhat  differently  from  the  Critical 

"  Let  us  now,"  says  the  critic,  "compare  this 
"  description  of  the  Aborigines  of  Britain  with  that 
"  of  Taliesin,  a  name  before  which  every  Welshman 
"  must  bow ;  who  was  himself  a  Bard,  perhaps  a 
"  Druid,  but  converted  from  his  Druidical  idolatry 
"  to  Christianity,  and  who  is  reported  to  have  flou- 
"  rished  in  the  sijcth  century  of  the  Christian  aera, ; 
"  consequently,  about  sia^  hundred  years  before  these 
'*  Triads  were  ever  attempted  to  be  collected.*  The 
"  poem  we  cite  from  is  denominated  the  Pacification 
♦'  of  Lludd." 

The  critic  then  gives  his  original,  with  the  follow- 
ing translation ; 

"  A  numerous  race,  and  fierce,  as  f^me  reports  them, 
"  Were  thy  first  colonists,  Britain,  chief  of  isles: 

*  I  am  totally  at  a  los»  to  conjecture  upon  what  ground  this  asiertioa 
stands.  I  had  mentioned  some  copyists  of  the  Triads  in  the  t«re)i{th  c^nturjr^ 
Vut  I  n^ver  supposed  them  to  hsve  been  the  original  collectors. 

f*  Natives  of  a  conntcyin  Am,,  and  ef  the  regbn  of  Gafis; 
"  A  people  said  to  have  been  skilful ;  but  the  district  i» 

"  unknown, 
'*  That  was  mother  to  this  progenyi  these  warlike  adven- 

"  turer^  on  the  sea. 
"  Clad  in  their  long  dress,  who  could  equal  them? 
"  Celebrated  is  their  skill;  they  were  the  dread > 
«  Of  Europe." 

"  Here,"  adds  the  triumphant  critic,  "  instead  of 
**  being  men  of  quiet  dispositions,  and  abhorrent  of 
**  war,  they  are  expressly  declared  to  have  been 
"  fierce  atid  warlike  arfwcw^Mrer*— unequalled,  and 
*'  the  dread  of  Europe :  instead  of  coming  from 
**  Constantinople,  and  crossing  the  German  haze,  or 
**  ocean,  they  are  said  to  have  wandered  from  the 
"  regioQ  of  G-afis,  in  Asia.  Is  it  possible  to  imagine 
*'  a'stronger  contrast  ?"  —  (Vide  Critical  Review, 
August,  1804,  p.  374,) 

Tbe  contrast,  as  here  drawn,  is  strong  enough : 
but  I  must  take  the  liberty  to  hint,  that  the  critic,  or 
his  proinpter,  has  perverted  the  whole  of  this  vaunted 
passa^,  in  consequence  of  having  mistaken  the 
iheattibg  of  a  single  word — Dygorescynan,  which 
ite  rehders  were  the  first  colonists,  simply  implies, 
tvill  agaiti  invade,  or,  according  to  Mr.  Owen,  will 
subjugate,  or  overcome :  so  tliat  the  Bard  does  not 
describe  the  'Aborigines  of  Britain,  but  a  hostile 
race,  who  invaded  or  subdued  the  country. 

The  title  of  the  poem,  Pacification  of  Lludd, 
and  a  line,  which  informs  us  it  was  the  pacification 
of  Lludd  and  Llefelis,  may  furnish  a  clue  to  the  ara 
of  these  invaders.  Lludd  and  Llefelis  are  repre- 
sented, by  the  Welsh  chronicles,  as  brothers  of  Cas» 
sivellaunils,  who  fought  with  Cassar,  though  it  is 
pretty  clear  that,  in  simple  fact,  they  were  no  other 
than  those  princes  of  the  Trinobantes»  whom  the 
Koman  historiai^  mentions  by  the  names  of  ImariU' 
entius  md  Mandubrasim,    Hence  it  appears,  that 

these  J?/"*/  colonists  of  Britain  arrived  in  the  age  of 
Julius  Caesar.* 

Let  us  now  try.  to  identify  this  warlike  race.  In 
the  passage  quoted  by  the  critic,  they  are  said  to 
have  sprung  from  a  country  in  Asia,  and  the  region 
of  Gafi^  or  rather  Gafys.  Whoever  has  Welsh 
enough  to  translate  Taliesin,  must  be  fully  aware, 
that  it*  is  the  genius  of  that  langtiage  to  change  c 
into  g,  and  p  into  /.  Let  us  then  replace  the  ori- 
ginal letters,  and  we  shall  have  the  region  of  Capys, 
a  Trojan  prince,  who  was  the  father  of  Anchises, 
and  reputed  ancestor  of  the  Romans.  Hence  it  may 
be  conjectured,  that  these  were  the  very  s  people 
whom  the  Bard  describes  as  having  invaded  Britain, 
in  the  time  of  Lludd  and  Llefelis;  that  is,  in  the  age 
of  Julius  Caesar, 

But  Critics  must  not  be  supposed  to  write  at  ran- 
dom, without  some  knowledge  of  their  subject.  As 
they  claim  respect  from  the  Public,  they  must  re- 
spe;pt  their  own  characters.  And  as  our  author  has 
positively  pronounced  hjs  warlike  race  the  jirst  co- 
la^ists,  of  Britain,  it  may  be  presumed,  that  his 
iassertion  has  some  adequate  support  in  other  parts 
of  the  poem.  In  order  to*  determine  this  pointy  I 
shall  exhibit  the  whole,  for  it  is  not  long,  with  a 
translation  as  close  and  as  faithful,  to  say  the  least 
of  itj  as  that  which  we  have  in  the  preceding  critique* 

yMARWAR  LUJDD.—Btfcham 

Yn  enw  Puw  Trindawd,  cardawd  cyfrwys! 
Llwyth  Uiaws,  anuaws  eu  henwerys, 
Dygorescynnan  Prydain,  prif  fan  ynys ; 
Grwyr  gwlad  yr  Asia,  a  gwlad  Gafys ; 

*  The  romantic  cturoniclei  of  Archdeacon  Walter,  and  Qeo&y  of  Bfbn- 
(Hoath,  qndi  after  tbem,  some  late  annotatora  on  the  li'iiadSi  aaj,  that  tb» 
CotAAieSl,  a  Be'lgiC;  tribe,  arrived  in  the  age  of  Uudd.".  This  is  evideDtly  erro* 
oeous. .  The  rcadelr  will  tee  presently,  that  the  Batd  meant  the  BaiiMBa,,Mi() 
BO  Rther  people. 


Pobl  pwylted  enwir :  eu  tir  ni  wya 

Famen :  gorwyreisherwydd  maris. 
Amlaes  eu  peisseu;  pwy  ei  hefelis  ? 
A  phwyllad  dyvyner,  ober  efias, 
Europin,  Arafin,  Arafanis. 
Cristiawn  difryt,  diryd  dilis, 
Cyn  ymarwar  ijudd  a  Llefelis. 
Dysgogettawr  perchen  y  Wen  Ynys, 
Rac  pennaeth  o  Ryfein,  cein  ei  eclirys. 
Nid  rys,  nid  cyfrwys,  Ri :  rwyf  ei  araith 
(A  rywelei  a  ryweleis  o  anghyfieith)- 
DuUator  pedrygwern,  Uugyrn  ymdaith, 
Rac  Rhyuonig  cynran  bara,n  goddeith, 
Rytalas  mab  Grat,  rwyf  ei  areith, 
Cymry  yn  danhyal :  rhyvel  ar  geith. 
Piyderaf,  pwyllaf  pwy  y  byirideith— » 
Brythonig  yniwis  rydderchefis. 


In  the  name  of  the  God  Trinity,*  exhibit  thy  charity ! 
A  numerous  race,  of  ungentle  manners,  ' 

Repeat  their  invasion  of  Britain,  chief  of  isles  :+ 
Men  from  a  country  in  Asia,  and  the  region  of  CapyS ;  J 
A  people  of  iniquitous  design :  the  land  is  not  known 
That  was  their  mother.^  They  made  a  devious  course  by  sea. 
In  their  flowing  garments,||  who  can  equal  them  ? 
With  design  are  they  called  in,«|[  with  theiir  short  spears,** 
those  fqes 

*  The  Bard  addresses  himself  to  a  Christian. 

.  f  The  subject  of  the  poem  is  Cssar's  second  invasion.    Hie  parttcle  dy,  in 
composition!  conveys  the  sense  of  iteration, 

I  The  district  of  Troy>  whence  the  Romans  dedqcei}  theix  origin. 

$  When  the  orac)e  commanded  ^neas  and  his  company — * 
Dardanids  durii  que  vos  a  stirpe  parektum 
Prima  tulit  tellus,  eadem  vos  nbere  Isto 
Accipiet  reduces;  antiquam  exqiiirite  Matrem-i— 

Virg.  «En.  III.  V.  93. 
We  are  informed,  that  they  knew  not  where  to  find  this  parent  region,  and  con- 
sequently wandered  through  various  seas  in  search  of  it.  To  this  tale  the  JBard 
evidently  alludes. 

B  The  Roman  toga,  or  gown. 

fl  We  learn  from  Cssar,  as  well  as  fronn  the  British  Triftds  find  chronicles, 
that  the  Romans  were  invited  into  this  island  by  the  ptii)ces  pf  the  Tripo- 
bantes,  whet  were  at  war  with  Cassivellaunus. 

••  Such  was  the  forn«dable  filvm,  as  appears  from  a  variety  qf  Roman 
coins  and  sculptures. 

Of  the  Europeans,  the  Ammites,  and  Arl^enians.* 

O  thoughtless  Christian,  there  was  oppressive  toil, 

Before  the  pacification  of  Lludd  and  Llefelis,f 

The  proprietor  of  the  fair  island  J  is  ronsed 

Against  the  JRoman  leader,  splendid  and  terrible. 

The  King§  is  not  ensnared,  as  inexpert :  he  directs  with  his 

(Having  seen  all  the  foreigners  that  were  to  be  seen). 
That  the  quadrangular  swamp  ||  should  be  set  in  order,  by 

wayfaring  torches, 
Against  the  arrogant  leader,  in  whose  presence  there  was  a 

spreading  flame.^f 
The  son  of  Graid,**  with  his  voice,  directs  the  retaliation^ 
The  Cymry  burst  into  a  flame— rthere  is  war  upon  the 

With  deliberate  thought  will  I  declare  the  stroke  that  made 

them  decamp. 
It  was  the  great  exaltation  of  British  energy. %^ 

*  The  Romans  had  carried  their  arms,  not  only  over  the  best  part  of  Eu- 
rope, but  also  into  Aram,  oi  Syria  and  Armenia,  before  they  iqvaded  Britain. 

+  These  reputed  brothers  of  Cassivellaunus,  were  the  prince^  of  the  Tri- 
nobantes,  who  deserted  the  general  cause  of  their  country,  and  sent  ambas* 
ladors  to  Julius  Ctssar. 

t  The  reader  will  see  hereafter,  that  the  ancient  Bards  conferred  this  title 
upon  the  solar  divinity,  and  his  chief  minister. 

f  That  is  CassiTellauHus,  whose  abilities  and  prudence  are  acknowledged 
by  the  Roman  commander. 

H  The  fortress  or  town  of  Cassivellaunus,  St2i;ii  paludihusjue  namitum,  De 
Bell.  Gall.  L.  V.  Q.  21. 

H  Relinquebatur  ut  neqne  longins  ab  agroine  legionum  disced!  Ciesar  pate- 
retur,  ct  tantum  in  agris  vastandis,  incendiisque  J'aciendU,  taostibus  noceretur, 
lb.  c.  19. 

**  Grad,  or  Graid,  the  sun. — Cassivellaunus  is  called  the  son  of  Beli,  which 
is  another  name  of  that  deified  luminary. 

+t  Those  British  tribes  who  voluntarily  submitted  to  the  Romans  Csee 
Cssar,  lb.  c.  SO,  21),  and  on  whom  Cassivellaunus  retaliated,  after  Ceesat'* 

tt  The  Bard,  fn  a  strain  of  venial  patriotism,  ascribes  the  departure  of 
Cffisar  and  the  Romans  to  the  prowess  of  his  countrymen.  Other  Bards  have 
dropped  pretty  strong  hints  to  the  same  purpose.    Lucan  sayi — 

Territa  qussitis  ostendit  terga  Britannis. 
And  Pope,  with  less  asperity — 

Ask  why,  from  Britain  Caesar  would  retreat  ? 
Cesm  himself  migUt  whispet— J  wat  beat. 


By  this  time,  I  trus^  I  have  made  a  convert  of  the 
critic.  He  will  agree  with  me  in  thinking,  that  this 
little  poem  relates  only  to  the  invasion  of  Britain  by 
Julius  Csesar;  and  that  it  contains  not  the  most 
distant  hint  of  iis  Jirst  colonists.  The  stfong  con^ 
trast  has  changed  its  position :  but  I  abstain  frora 
farther  remarks. 

Criticism  may  be  useful  to  the  author  who  under- 
goes its  chastisement,  as  well  as  to  the  Public.  To 
the  censor  whose  representation  is  juist,  whose  re- 
proof is  liberal,  who  so  far  respects  himself,  as  to 
preserve  the  character  of  a  scholar  and  a  gentleman, 
I  shall  attend  with  due  regard.  But  if  any  pro- 
fessed judge  of  books  can  descend  so  low,  as  wilfully 
to  pervert  my  words  and  meaning,  to  twist  them  into 
absurdity,  and  extract  silly  witticisms  from  his  own 
conceits,  I  must  be  allowed  to  consider  his  stric- 
tures as  foreign  to  myself  and  my  work,  and  as  little 
calculated  to  influence  those  readers  whom  I  wish 
to  engage. 




TIQUITY   -----------     Page  1 — 84 



AND     RITES,     OF    HU,     THE     HELIO-ARKITE     GOD THE 

BACCHUS    OF   THE    HEATHEN    BRITONS,    Page  85 — 182 



ANTIQUITY,     -      ------  Page  183 — 290 



HENGE,     ----------     Page  291—410 

(THE    GODODIN,  Page  326— 383.) 




STITION, -      -------     Page  411 — 500 

,  —  \ 


EXTRACTS,    ---------     Page  501^-588 


Page  589— 6Z4, 

INDEX,     -     --_- Page  625— 642 

ERRATA,     -     ----- _     Page  642 



Of  THE 

BSnttejft  Sruttis^ 

SECTION    I.       ^ 

Preliminary  Observations  on  the  written  Monuments  of  tht 
early  Britons,  Thei^AutheHticity  f  roved,  by  the  Test  of 
classical  Antiquity. 

JLN  a  reteospeet  of  the  state  of  socie^,  which  formerly 
prevailed  ia  our  coiHutry,  tli©  coatempiative  mind  is  not 
more  agreeably,  than  usefully  employed.  Hence  many 
writers,  of  distingttished  eiaiinence,  have  umdertaken  to  elu. 
ctdate  the  modes  of  thinking,  and  the  customs  of  the 
early  Britons,  together  with  their  religious  opinions  and 
su.p€rstitioH&  rites.  Upo»  this  subject,  many  notices  are 
scattered  amongst  the  remains  of  Greefc  and  Koman  learn« 
iag.  These  have  been  collected  with  dili!g;eBce>  arranged 
and  appreciated  with  ingenuity.  But  here  the  research  of 
our  arri;iquaries  has  been  checked,  by  the  compass  of  theii 
own  studies,  rather  than  by  the  defect  of  other  existing 
monuments:  whereas,  upon  a  topic  that  claims  iavestjg^x 
tion,  every  pertiaent  document  ought  to  bQ  considered ;  and 


especially,  those  documents  which  lea^  to  a  more  intimate 
knowledge  of  the  matter  in  hand. 

What  has  hitherto  remained  undone,  I  have  already 
hinted,  in  a  volume  which  I  lately  published,  under  the 
most  respectable  and  liberal  patronage.  I  there  stated,  that 
certain  ancient  writings,  which  are  preserved  in  the  Welsh 
language,  pontain  many  new  ai^d  curious  particulars  relative 
to  the  ancient  religion  and  customs  of  Britain ;  and  that,  in 
this  point  of  view,  they  would  reward  the  research  of  the 
temperate  and  unjwrejudiced  antiquary. 

At  that  time,  I  had  no  thoughts  of  pursuing  the  investi- 
gation; but  I  have  since  taken  up  a  fresh  resolution,  and  it 
is  the  business  of  the  present  Essay  to  evince  the  truth  of 
my  assertion. 

To  this  end,  I  shall  employ  an  introductory  section,  in 
pointing  out  the  particular  writings  of  the  Britons,  upon 
which  I  ground  my  opinion ;  in  shewing  that  t^ose  writings 
have  been  regarded  as  druidical;  and  in  ascertaining,  by 
historical  tests,  the  authenticity  of  their  pretensions.* 

The  British  documents,  to  which  I  principally  refer,  are 
the  poems  of  Taliesin,  Aneurin,  and  Merddin  the  Caledo- 
nian, Bards  who  lived  in  the  sixth  century  of  the  Christian 

*  In  this  Section,  I  must  also  talce  notice  of  the  objections  of  some  of  my 
own  countrymen,  who,  since  the  publication  of  the  Celtic  Researches,  have 
I  industriously  spread  a  report,  that  I  do  not  produce  the  genuine  traditions  of 
the  Welsh  Bards.  However  little  concera  I  might  feel,  for  the  mere  accident 
of  thinking  differently  from  these  men,  yet,  as'I  have  made  my  opinion  public, 
I  deem  it  a  duty  which  I  owe  to  my  own  character,  as  well  as  to  the  generous 
patrons  of  my  book,  to  shew,  that  I  am  competent  to  judge  of  the  genuine 
lemains  of  the  Welsh ;  and  that  my  representations  of  them  have  been  fairly 
made,  and  from  the  best  authorities  that  can  be  produced. 

My  own  vindication  wiH  call  for  a  few  remarks,  upon  the  grounds  of  the 
idTerie  opinion;  but  I  hope  to  vindicate  myself  with  temper. 


«ira.  With  these  works,  my  acquaintance  is  not  recent. 
1  have  possessed  a  good  collated  copy  of  them,  in  MS. 
since  the  year  1792.  I  have  also  the  London  edition  of  the 
same  works,  which  appeared  in  the  first  volume  of  the 
Myvyrian  Archaiology  of  Wales,  in  1801. 

To  the  primitive  Bards,  I  add  the  historical  and  mytho- 
logical notices,  called  Triads,  published  in  the  second  vo«- 
lume  of  the  same  work;  and  though  their  compilers  are 
not  known,  I  shall  use  them  freely,  as  far  as  I  find  their 
authority  supported  by  general  tradition,  ancient  manu- 
scripts, and  internal  evidence. 

Modern  criticism  having  suggested  some  doubts  as  io  the 
genuineness  of  the  works  ascribed  to  our  ancient  Bards,  it 
may  be  expected,  tliat  I  should  offer  something  in  their 
defence  upon  this  score.  But  from  the  greatest  part  ol  this 
task  I  may  fairly  excuse  myself,  by  a  general  reference  to 
the  Vindication,  lately  published  by  the  learned  and  accu- 
rate Mr.  Turner,  who,  in  answer  to  all  their  adversaries, 
hias  stated,  and  fully  substantiated  the  following  proposition ; 

"  That  there  are  poems,  now  existing  in  the  Welsh,  or 
"  ancient  British  language,  which  were  written  hy  Aneurin, 
"  Taliesin,  Llywarch  MSn,  and  Merddin,  who  flourished 
"  between  the  years  500  and  600." 

This  subject,  the  able  advocate  of  our  Bards  has  not 
handled  slightly,  or  superficially.  He  carries  them  through 
every  question  of  external  and  internal  evidence,  refutes  all 
the  main  objections  which  have  been  urged  against  the 
works  of  the  Bards,  and  concludes  his  Vindication  by 
shewing,  that  there  is  nothing  extraoidiiiary  in  the  fact^ 

B  2 


which  his  Essay  is  directed  to  substantiate;  that  thcse- 
poems  are  attested  by  an  unvaried  stream  of  national  be- 
lief; and  that  any  suspicion  about  them  has  been  of  recent 

--  The  author  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  history,  being  interested 
pi^y  in  the  credit  of  the  historical  poems  of  these  Bards, 
has  xiirected  his  Vindication,  principally,  to  the  support  of 
their  c^use ;  but  as  my  subject  leads  me,  more  immediately, 
to  examine  certain  pieces  of  another  kind,  which,  from 
their  mythological  and  mysterious  allusions,  have  obtained 
the  general  appeUa-tion  of  mystical  poems,  candour  requires, 
that  I  should  state  this  gentleman's  opinion  of  the  latter, 
aAd  plead  something  in  their  defence,  -where  he  seems  toi 
have  deserted  them, 

.Of  these  mystical  pieces,  Mr.  Turner  thus  dedares  hi  J 
sentiments. — r"  Some  (of  Taliesin's  poems)  are  unintelligibjc), 
"  because  fuU  of  Bardic,  or  Druidical  allusions."  f 

And  again:  "  Of  Taliesin's  poetry,  We  may  say,  in  g€r 
"  neral,  that  his  historical, pieces  are  valuable;  his  Others 
"  are  obscure :  but,  as  they  contain  much  old  mythology ^ 
*'  and  Bardic  imagery,  they  are  worth  attention,  because 
"  some  parts  may  be  illustrated,  and  made  intelligible."  J 

I  have  quoted  these  passages,  at  lengthy  in  order  to  shew 
my  reader,  that  the  author's  censure  is  not  directed  against 
the  pretensions  of  these  poems  to  genuineness,  or  authenr 

*  Vini,icathn  of  the  Genuinoteis  of  the  Ancient  British  Sardt,  8to.  lioadon^ 
1803.     fcee  p.  16  to  SO. 

4  Ibid.  p.  14. 

J  Ibjd.  p.  «60. 

ijclty,  but  merely,  against  that  degree  of  obscurity  which 
they  must,  necessarily,  present  to  every  man  who  has  not 
studied  their  subjects.  And  Mr.  Turner's  declared  opinion, 
that  they  are  worth  attention,  as  containing  rnuch  old  my- 
thology, certainly  supposes,  that  they  are  ancient  and 
authentic ;  I  mean  so  far  authentic,  «.s  to  be  real  documents 
of  British  mythology. 

That  a  critic,  so  candid,  and  so  well  informed,  should 
have  pronounced  these  poems,  which  peculiarly  treat  of 
Druidism,  absolutely  unintelligible;  and  especially,  as  he 
acknowledges  the  assistance  of  Mr.  Owen  and  Mr.  Williams, 
men  who  claim  an  exclusive  acquaintance  with  the  whole 
system  of  Bardic  lore,  may  seem  rather  extraordinary :  but 
the  wonder  will  cease,  when  we  shall  have  seen,  that  the 
information  of  these  ingenious  writers  is  drawn  from  ano- 
ther source ;  from  a  document  which  will  appear  to  be,  in 
many  respects,  irreconcilable  with  the  works  of  the  ancient 
Bards,  or  with  the  authority  of  the  classical  page. 

Mr.  Turner's  censure,  as  we  have  seen,  regards  only  the 
obscurity  of  the  mystical  poems :  but  as  it  is  possible,  that 
the  candid  zeal  of  criticism  may  mistake  obscure,  for  spu- 
rious, it  may  be  proper  to  produce  some  farther' evidence 
in  their  favour.  And  here  I  may  remark,  that  Mr.  Turner 
was  the  first  critic,  who  made  a  public  distinction  between 
the  credit  of  the  mystical,  and  the  historical  poems.  The 
external  evidence,  in  favour  of  both,  is  just  the  same. 
They  are  preserved  in  the  same  manuscripts ;  and  an  unva- 
lied  stream  of  national  belief  ascribes  them,  without  dis- 
tinction, to  the  authors  whose  names  they  .bear. 

Here  I  might  rest  the  cause  of  jhese  old  poems,  till  they 
prove  their  own  authenticity,  by  internal  evidence,  in  the 


course  of  my  Essay ;  did  I  not  deetn  it  requisite,  to  adduce 
some  testimonies  of  the  real  existence  of  Druidism,  amongst 
the  AVelsh>  in  the  times  of  the  native  princes.  These  tes- 
timonies are  collected  from  a  series  of  Bards,  who  wrote 
in  succession,  from  before  the  twelfth,  to  the  middle  of  the 
fourteenth  century.  The  genuineness  of  their  works  has 
never  been  disputed;  and  they,  pointedly,  allude  to  the 
mystical  strains  of  Taliesin,  and  establish  their  credit,  as 
derived  from  the  source  of  Druidism. 

Mevgant,  a  Bard  who  lived  in  the  seventh  century, 
writes  thus.  , 

Cred  i  Dduw  nad  Derwyddon  darogant 
Pan  torrer  Din  Breon  braint.* 

"  Trust  in  God,  that  those  are  no  Druids,  who  prophesy, 
"  that  the  privilege  of  Din  Breon  will  be  violated." 

Din  Breon,  the  Hill  of  Legislature,,  was  the  sacred 
piount,  where  the  Bards,  the  ancient  judges  of  the  land, 
assembled,  to  decide  causes.  The  author  here  alludes  to 
certain  predictions,  that  the  privilege  of  this  court  would  be 
violated ;  but,  at  the  same  time,  suggests  a  hope,  that  the 
prophets  were  not  real  Druids,  and,  consequently,,  that 
their  forebodings  might  never  be  accomplished.  This, 
surely,  su~pposes,  that  Druidical  predictions  were  known, 
in  the  days  of  Meugant,  and  that  they  were  regarded  as 
oracles  of  truth. 

•  W.  Arehaiol.  p.  161. 

GbLYDDAN,  a  Bard  of  the  same  century,  asserts  the 
existence  of  Druidical  prophecies,  and  considers  the  desr 
tiny  of  Britain,  as  absolutely  involved  in  their  sentence. 

Dysgogan  Derwyddon  maint  a  ddervydd  : 
O  Vynaw  hyd  Lydaw  yn  eu  Haw  a  vydd : 
O  Ddyved  byd  Ddanet  huz  biduvydd,  &c.* 


"  Druids  vaticinate—  a  multitude  shall  arrive :  from  Me- 
nevia  to  Armori^a  shall  be  in  their  hand:  from  Dernetia 
**  to  Thanet  shall  they  possess." 

Such  passages  bear  testimony  to  the  existence  of  certain, 
pretended,  vaticinations,  which  were  expressly  ascribed  to 
the  Druids ;  and  which  the  Britons,  of  the  seventh  cen- 
tury, contemplated  with  respect.  It  is  also  worthy  of  note, 
that  Golyddan  enrols  Merddin  the  Caledonian  in  the  list  of 
his  infallible  Druids. 

Dysgogan  Merddin — cyvervydd  hyn ! 

•'  It  is  Merddin  who  predicts — this  will  come  to  pass !" 

Let  us  now  hear  the  acknowledgment  of  a  Bard,  who  was 
less  favourable  to  the  Druidical  strain;  or  who,  at  least, 
did  not  think  it  meet  to  be  employed  in  a  Christian's  ad- 
dress to  his  Creator. 

CuHELYN  wrote;  according  to  the  table  of  the  Welsh 
Archaiology,  in  the  latter  part  of  the  eighth  century  .f    A 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  158. 

+  I  think  Mr.  Owen  has,  more  accmately,  ascribed  this  work  to  CvhAyn  ab 
Cew,  a  Bard  of  the  sixth  century.  ,r  «  .  ■ 

Can.  Biog.    V.  Cuhelyn, 

teligious  ode,  which  bears  the  name  of  this  Bard,. has  the 
following  passage : 

Deus  Rheen  rhymavy  Awen- 

Amen,  fiat! 

Fynedig  wawd  frwythlawn  draethawd, 

Herwydd  urdden  awdyl  Keridwen, 

Ogyrwen  amhad, 

Amhad  anaw  areith  awytllaw 

Y  Caw  ceiniad, 

Cuhelyn  Bardd  Gymraeg  hardd 

Cyd  wrthodiad 

Certh  cymmwynas,  Ked  cyweithas, 

Ni  vaintimad. 

Cathyl  cyvystravvd  cyvan  vtflawd, 

Clutawd  attad. 

"  God  the  Creator!  Inspire  my  genius!  Amen — ^be  it 
"  done !  A  prosperous  song  of  praise,  a.  fruitful  discourse, 
"  may  I  obtain.  For  the  venerated  song  of  Ceridwen,  tht 
"  Goddess  of  various  seeds,  of  various  seeds  of  Genius,  the 
"  eloquence  of  the  airy  hand  of  the  chaunler  of  Caw,  Cu- 
"  helyn,  the  elegant  Welsh  Bard  would  utterly  reject. 
"  The  awful  enjoyment  of  the  society  of  KSd  could  not  be 
"  maintained.  A  song  of  direct  course,  of  unnjixed  praise, 
"  has  been  offered  to  thee."* 

*  There  is  another  poem  of  Culielyrii  whiQli  details  some  curious  particular 
of  Bardic  lore.    It  is  introduced  iu  the  fourth  section  of  this  Essay. 


The  songs  of  Ceridwen~o{  the  chaunters  of  Caii),  and 
of  the  society  of  Kid,  as  I  shall  make  appear,  are  precisely 
the  mystical  strains  ascribed  to  Taliesin,  and  the  lore  of  the 
British  Druids.  And  the  Bard,  by  making  a  merit  of  not 
imitating  this  kind  of  poetry,  in  his  address  to  the  Creator, 
furnishes  an  undeniable  evidence,  that  such  composition 
was  known  in  his  time;  that  it  was  in  high  esteem  amongst 
his  countrymen ;  and  that  he  deemed  it  unsuitable  to  the 
purity  of  Christian  devotion. 

•  Thus  we  find,  that  the  mystic  lore  of  the  Druids,  and 
tkose  songs,  which  are  full  of  their  old  mythology, 
were  extant,  and  in  repute,  during  the  ages  immediately 
subsequent  to  .the  times  of  Aneurin,  Taliesin,  and  Merd- 
din.  Let  us  examine  whether  diey  were  forgotten,  in  the 
ages  of  the  more  recent  Welsh  Princes. 

The  works  of  several  Bards,  who  flourished  in  Wales 
during-  the  interval,  from  the  beginning  of  the  twelfth,  to 
the  close  of  the  fourteenth  century,  have  been  well  pre- 
served. They  are  now  printed  in  the  first  volume  of  the 
Welsh  Archaiology. 

So  far  was  Druidism  from  being  either  forgotten  or 
neglected  in  this  period,  that  one  of  the  most  curious  sub- 
jects of  observation,  which  present  themselves  upon  the 
perusal  of  these  works,  is  the  constant  allusion  to  certain 
ancient  and  genuine  remains  of  the  Druids,  which  had 
descended  to  the  times  of  the  respective  authors.  The  prin- 
cipals amongst  the  Bards  of  these  ages,  appear  very  Anxious 
to  distinguish  themselves  from  mere  poets.  They  assert  their 
own  pretensions  to '  the  honour  of  the  Druidical  character, 
upon  the  plea  of  an  accurate  institution  into  the  faiysteries, 
and  discipline,  of  those  ancient  sages;   or  upon  a  direct 


descent  from  their  venerated  blood.    The  reader  shall  have 
an  opportunity  of  judging  for  himself. 

Meilyr,  a  distinguished  Bard,  who  flourished  between 
the  years  1120  and  II60,  composed  an  elegy  upon  the  death 
of  two  princes  of  his  country,  the  first  line  pf  which  runs 

Gwolychav  i'm  Rheen,  Rex  Awyr.* 

"  I  will  address  myself  to  my  soverragn,  the  King  of  the 
«  Air." 

This  is  an  evident  imitation  of  the  first  line  of  the  Chair 
of  Ceridwen — Rh'een  rym  Awyr-\ — "  O  Sovereign  of  the 
"  power  of  the  Air."  This  piece,  therefore,  which  is  one  of 
the  principal  of  Taliesin's  mystical  poems,  was  known  to 
i^eilyr  the  Bard. 

GwALCHMAi,  the  son  of  Meilyr,  wrote  between  the  years 
^50  and  II90. 

In  a  poem,  entitled  Gorhofedd,  or  The  Boast,  he  thus 
imitates  the  Gorwynion,  a  poem  ascribed  to  Llywarch  Hfen^ 
upon  the  subject  of  the  mystical  sprigs., 

Gorwyn  blaen  avail,  bloden  vagwy, 

Balch  caen  eoed — 

Bryd  pawb  parth  yd  garwy.  J 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  192. 
+  Ibid.  p.  66. 
t  Ibid.  p.  193. 


"  The  point  of  the  apple  tree,  supporting  blossoms, 
"  proud  covering  of  the  wood,  declares — Every  one's  desire 
"  tends  to  the  place  of  his  affections." 

In  his  elegy  upon  the  death  of  Madawc,  Prince  of 
P#^vysj  the  same  Bard  exclaims,     ' 

Och  Duw  na  dodyw 

Dydd  brawd,  can  deiyw 

Derwyddon  weini  nad — 

Diwreiddiws  Pywys  peleidriad — rhy vel !  * 

"  Would  to  God  the  day  of  doom  were  arrived,  since 
"  DiTiids  are  come,  attending  the  outcry— TAe  gleaming 
*'  spears  of  war  have  eradicated  Poteys" 

The  Bard  had  heard  a  report  of  the  fall  of  his  Prince ; 
but  he  hoped  it  might  be  only  a  false  rumour,  till  the  news 
was  brought  by  Druids.  Here,  then,  we  find  the  exist- 
ence of  Druids,  in  the  middle  of  the  twelfth  century,  ppsi*. 
tively  asserted. 

CynddElw,  the  great  presiding  Bard,  and  Gwalchmai's 
contemporary,  has  many  remarkable  passages,  which  imply 
the  same  fact.     I  shall  select  a  few  of  the  most  obvious. 

In  his  panegyric  upon  the  celebrated  Prince,  Owen 
Gwynedd,  we  find  the  Bardic  and  the  Druidical  character 
thus  united,  and  our  author  himself  placed  at  the  head  of 
the  order. 

Beirnaid  amregyd  Beirdd  am  ragor : 

•  W,  Arcliaiol.  p  202. 


Ath  volant  Veirddion,  Dei-vvyddou  ttiif 
O  bedeiriaith  dyvyn,  o  bedeir  6r. 
Ath  gyvarwyre  bardd  bre  breudor, 
Cynddelw,  cynhelw  yn  y  cynnor. 

"  Bards  are  constituted  the  judges  of  excellence :  and 
"  Bards  will  praise  thee,  even  Druids  of  the  circle,  of 
"  four  dialects,  coming  from  the  four  regions.  A  Bardr  of 
"  the  steep  mount  will  celebrate  tRee,  efven  Ct/nddelw,  the 
"  first  object  in  the  gate.  / 

In  his  elegy  upon  the  death  of  the  same  Prince,  Cynd- 
delw  mentions  a  prophecy  of  Gwron,  whom  the  Triads 
represent  as  one  of  the  first  founders  of  Druidism. 

Am  eurglawr  mwynvawr  Mon 
Nid  gair  gau  Sv  goreu  Gwron. 

"  Of  the  golden  protector,  the  most  courteous  Prince  of 
"  Mona,  no  vain  prophecy  did  Gwron  deliver." 

The  same  Gynddelw  maintained  a  poetic  contest  for  the 
Bardic  chair  of  Madawc,  Prince  of  Powys,  against  another 
Bard,  named  Seisyll,  who  asserts  his  claim  to  the  honour, 
in  virtue  of  his  direct  descent  from  tiie  primitive  Bards, 
or  Druids  of  Britain,  a  distinction  which  his  adversary 
Qould  not  boast. 

Mi  biau  bod  yn  bencerdd 
O  iawnllin  o  iawnllwyth  Culvardd ; 
4kh^n  Gynddelw  vawr,  cawr  cyrdd, 
O  hem  ni  henyw  beirdd.* 

W.  Arehaiol.  p.  210. 


"  It  is  my  x'ig^^t  to  be  master  of  song — ^being  in  a  direct 
'•  line,  of  ±he  true  tribe,  a  Bard  of  the  inclosure ;  but  Cyn- 
f  ddelw  the  great,  the  giant  of  song,  is  born  of  a  race, 
*'  which  has  produced  np  Bards." 

In  his  reply,  Cynddelw  makes  light  of  this  argument  of 
his  opponent,  alledging  that  he  himself  was  acknowledged 
to  be  distinguished  by  the  discipline,  the  education,  and 
the  "spirit  of  a  primitive  Bard. 

Notwithstanding  this,  we  find,  by  a  poem  addressed  to 
the  same  Prince,  that  he  was  ready  to  allow  the  superior 
dignity  of  the  Druidical  line :  and  he  speaks  of  this  illus* 
trious  order' as  still  in  being, 

Nis  gwyr  namyft  Duw  a  dewinion — byd, 
'  A  diwyd  Derwyddion 
'  O  eurdorv,  eurdorchogiori, 

Ein  rhiv  3m  rhyveirth  avon.* 

*'  Excepting  God  alone/  and  the  di\5iners  of  the  land, 
*'  anct  sedulous  Druids,   of  the  splgndid  race,  wearers  jo/^ 
"  gold  chains,  there  is  none  who  knows  our  number,  in  the 
f'  billows. of  the  stream,"  ■. 

These  billowt,  as  it  will  appear  in  the  third  section,  allude 
to  their  initiation  into  the  mysteries  of  the  Druids. 

The  elegy  on  the  death  of  -Cadwallawn,  ^he  son  of 
Madawc,  assimilates  the  character  of  this  Prince  to  that 
of  Menw,  or  Menyw,  recorded  in  the  Triads  as  one  of  the 
first  instructors  and  legislators  of  the  Cymry.    Here  we 

•  W,  Aichaiol.  p.  213. 


Jiave  ttisp  a  discirimination  of  some  of  the  honpurs,  which 
the  Princesi  usually  conferred  upon  th^  ancient  Bards. 

Ago  red  ei  lys  i  les  cerddoripn — byd: 
Eithyd  i  esbyd  ei  esborthion. 
Ym  my w  Meliw  aqhes  buches  beirddion : 
Ym  buchedd  gwjedig  gwlad  orchorddion, 
,  GorddyynEis  uddud  budd  a  berthion 
Gorwyddon  tuthvawr  tu  hir  gleision.* 

:  ;  "  His  hall  was  open  for  th?  benefit  of  the  singers  of  the 
*'  land :  for  his  guests .  he  made  provision.  Whilst  Memp 
"lived,  the  memorials,  of  Baj-ds  were  in  request :  whilst  he 
"  lived,  the  sovereign  of  the  land  of  heroes,  it  was  his 
"  custom  to  bestow  benefits  and  honour,  and  fleet  coursers, 
"  on  the  wearers  of  long  blue  robes." 

In  a  poem  addressed*  to  Owe^  Cyveiliawg,  Prince  of 
Powys,  who  was  himself  a  distinguished  B&rd, '  Cynddelw 
makes  repeated  mention  of  the  Druids,  and  their  cerdd 
Ogyrven,  or  songs  of  tlie  Goddess ;  that  is,  the  mystical 
stiains  of  Taliesin.    The  piece  opens  thus. 

Dysgogan  Derwyddon  dewrwlad^ — y  esgar, 
Y  wysg^yd  weiniviad : 
-     '      '  "Dysgweinid  cyrdd  cydneid  cydnad, 

•  Cyd  v-oliant  gwr  gormant  gormeisiad. 

'  "  It  is  commanded  by  Druids  of  the  land,  which  dis- 
"  plays -valour  to  the  foe — even  by  those  administrators  in 
"  flowing  robes'— let  songs  be  prepared,  of  equal  move- 

'     -■>>     ■■  -.-       ,  '■  h   ' 

■■"-^-— ■  — — ■    "— '  '  '  '  I..    I.      ■  .-■      .         .  '      .  ■'      I. 

^~~. — I , — ™*.4^ .    •--W.  Archaiol.  p.  220.  . , .,...„., ^  ,  ■ 


*'  raent  and  corresponding  sound,  the  harmonious  praise  of 
"  the  hero,  who  subdues  the  ravager." 

,  f 

In  the  next  page,  we  find  the  Bard  imitating  the  Dru- 

idical  lore,  or  the  mystical  strains  of  Taliesin,  and  repre- 
senting his  hero  as  having  made  no  contemptible  progress 
in  the  circle  of  transmigration. 


Mynw  ehovyn  colovyn  eyvwjrein, 

Mur  meddgyrn  mechdeyrn'  Mechein, 

Mwyn  ©"^ydd  i  veirdd  y  vaith  goelvain — raij 

Meirch  mygyrvan  cynghan  cein. 

Yn  rhith  rhyn  ysgwyd 

Rhag  ysgwn  blymnwyd 

Ar  ysgwydd  yn  arwain 

Yn  rhith  Hew  rhag  Uyw  goradain ; 

Yn  rhith  Uavylj  anwar  llachar  llain ; 

Yn  rhith  cleddyv  claer  clod  ysgain — yn  aer 

Yh  aroloedd  cyngrain; 

Yn  rhith;  drftig  rhag  dragon  Prydain ; 

Yn  rhith  blaidd  blaengar  vu  Ywain. 

"  This  intrepid  hero,  like  a  rising  column,  like  a  bul- 
*'  wark,  round  the  meadhorns  of  the  rulers  of  Mechain,  as 
*'  a  gentle  ovate  to  the  bards  of  the  ample  lot,  in^parts  the 
"  fair,  lofty  coursers,  and  the  harmonious  song, 

"  In  the  form  of  a  vibrating  shield,  before  the  rising 
"  tumult,  borne  aloft  on  the  shoulder  of  the  leader — ^^in  the 
"  form  of  a  lion,  before  the  chief  with  the  mighty  wings 
*'  —in  the  form  of  a  terrible  spear,  with  a  ghttering 
«  blade — in  the  form  of  a  bright  sword,  spreading  fame  in 
"  the  conflict,  and  overwhelming  the  levelled  ranks —  ia 

"  the  form  of  a  dragon,  before  the  sovereign  bf  Britain 
"  and  in  the  form  of  a  daring  wolf,  has  Owen  appeared." 

After  a  few  more  sentences,  the  Bard  presents  us  with  a 
curious  glimpse  of  the  mystic  dance  of,  the  Druids. 

Prud  awyrdwythj'amnwytb,  amniver, 
Drudion  a  Beirddion 
A  vawl  h&b  draston. 


"  Rapidly  moving,  in  the  course  of  the  sky,  in  circles, 
"  in  uneven  numbers,  Druids  and  Bards  unite,  in  cele- 
"  -brating  the  leader." 

The  passages  already  citpd,  abundaiitly  prove,  not  only 
that  there  were  avowed  professors,  pf  Druidism  in  North 
Wales  and  Powys,  during  the  twelfth  century,  and  that 
they  regarded  the.  same  mystical  lore,  which  is  ascribed  to 
Taliesin,  as  the  standard  of  their  system;  but^also,  that 
their  profession'  was  toljeratedj  and  even  patronized,  by  the 
Princes  of  those,  districts^ 

That  the  case  was  neariy  the  same  in  South  Wales,  ap- 
pears from  several  passages ;  and  particularly,,  from  a  con.-^ 
ciliatory  address  to  Rhys,  the  Prince  of  that  countjy;  ia 
which  Cynddelw  makes  a  genera]  intercession  for  the  cause, 
the  mysttries,  and  the  worship  of  the  primitive  Bards.  He 
even  introduces  the  saci'ed  cauldron^  which  makes  a  prin.-^ 
cipal  figure  in  the  mystical  .strains  of  Taliesin. 

Corv  eurdorv  can  dohwyv  i  adrev 
Ith  edryd  ith  adrawdd  i$  nSv 
Pa.r  eurglawr  erglyw  vy  marddley  { 


Paiv  I'rydain  provwn  yn  nhangneV. 
'Tangnevedd  am  nawdd  amniverwch-— riv, 

Riallu  dyheiddwcb. 

Nid  acjiai-  llachai'  Uavarwch  ; 

Nid  achles  avles  aravwch  ; 

Nid  achludd  eurgudd  Elrgelwch  J 

Argel  earth  cerddorion  wolwch. 

Dor  ysgor  ysgwyddeu  amdrwch. 

Doeth  a  drud  am  dud  am  degwch ;  ' 

Tarv  aergawddi  aergwl  gadarttwch. 

*'  O  thou,  consolidator  of  the  comely  tribe!  since  I  am 
"  returned  home  into  thy  dominioii,  to  celebrate  thee  undef 
"  heaven — O  thou,  with  the  golden,  protecting  spear,  hear 
"  my  Bardic  petition !  In  peace,  let  us  taste  the  cauldron 
"  of  Prydain.  Tranquillity  j;ound  the  sanctuary  of  the 
"  uneven  number,  with  sovereign  power  extend !  It  (the 
"  Bardic  sanctuary)  loves  not  vehement  loquacity;  it  is  no 
"  cherishfer  of  useless  sloth;  it  opposes  no  precious,  con- 
"  cealed  mysteries  (Christianity):  disgrace  alone  i.s  ex- 
"  eluded  from  Bardic  worship.  It  is  the  guardian  bulwark 
"  of  the  breaker  of  shields.  It  is  wise  and  zealous  f9r 
"  the  defence  of  the  country,  and  for  decent  manners;  a 
"  foe  to  hostile  aggression,'  but  the  supporter  of  the  faint 
"  in  battle." 

In  the  elegy  on  the  death  of  Rhiryd,  as  well  as  in  the 
passage  just  cited,  Cynddelw  seems  disposed  to  reconcile 
the  tnystical  fables  and  heathen  rites  of  Druidism,  with  the 
profession  of  Christianity ;  for,  immediately  after  an  invo- 
cation of  the  Trinity,  he  proceeds  thus. 

Mor  wyv  hygleu  vardd  o  veird  Ogyrven ! 
Mor  wyv  gwyn  gyvrwy v  nidwy v  gyvyrwen ! 


IVTor  oedd  gyvrin  fyrdd  cjrdd  Kyrridwen : 
Mor  eisiau  eu  dwyn  yn  eu  dyrwen !  * 

"  How  strictly  conformable  a  Bard  am  I,  with  the  Bards 
«  of  the  mystic  Goddess !  How  just  a  director,  but  no  im- 
"  peder !  How  mysterious  were  the  ways  of  the  songs  of 
«  Ceridwen!  How  necessary  to  understand  them  in  their 
"  trute  sense !" 

Here  is  a  direct  testimony  in  favour  of  those  mystical 
songs,  which  deduce  their  origin  from  the  cauldron  of  Ce- 
ridwen, and  which  the  Bard  regards  as  the  standard  of  his 
own  fanatical  system.  He  professes  to  have  understood 
them  in  their  true  sense;  and  that  they  were  the  genuine, 
works  of  Taliesin,  is  declared  in  the  same  poem. 

O  ben  Taliesin  barddrin  beirddring ; 
Barddair  o'm  cyvair  ni  bydd  cyving. 

",  From  the  mouth  of  Taliesin  is  the' Bardic  mystery  con-^ 
"  cealed  by  the  Bards ;  the  Bardic  lore,  by  my  direction, 
"  shall  be  set  at  large." 

Pliny's  account  of  the  O'oum  Anguinum  is  sufficientljr 
known :  but  it  may  be  conjectured,  from  the  language  of 
Cynddelw,  that  the  ungues,  or,  serpents,  which  produced, 
these  eggs,  were  the  Druids  themselves. 

Tysiliaw  terwyn  gywrysed 

Parth  a'm  nawdd  adrawdd  adiysedd — 

Peris  NSr  &r  niver  nadredd, 

Praf  wiber  wibiad  amrysedd."}- 

,i-         I  ■  I  I  1      r  I        ■— ^», ^  1,11  .     ■ 

»  W.  Avcbaiol.  p.  230. 
+  Ibid.  p.  243. 


"  Tysilio,  ardent  In  .controversy^  respecting  my  sane- 
"  tuary,  declares  too  much.  Ner  (the  God  of  the  Ocean) 
*'  produced,  out  of  the  number  of  vipers,  one  huge  viper, 
"  with  excess  of  windings. 

Tysilio,  the  son  of  Brochwel,  Prince  of  Powys,  in  the 
seventh  century,  wrote  an  ecclesiastical  history  of  Britain, 
which  is  now  lost.  It  is  probable,  from  this  passage,  that 
an  explanation  and  exposure  of  Druidical  mythology,  con- 
stituted part  of  his  subject;  and  that  the  story  of  the  huge 
serpent,  was  one  of  the  fables  which  he  ascribed  to  them. 

These  specimens  may  suffice  to  ascertain  Cynddelw's  opi- 
nion of  the  Druids,  and  their  mystical  lore.  It  is  clear, 
this  great  Bard  was,,  in  profession,  half  a  Pagan,  and  so  he 
was  regarded.  Hence,  the  monks  of  Ystrad  Marchell 
sent  him  notice,  that  they  could  not  grant  him  the  hospi- 
tality, of  their  house  whilst  living,  nor  Christian  burial 
when  dead.* 

Llywaech  ah  Llywelyn,  was  another  cathedral  Bard, 
who  wrote  between  the  years  II60  and  1220.  He  thus 
speaks  of  the  privileges  of  his  office,  and  his  connection 
with  the  Druidical  order. 

Vy  nhavawd  yn  vrawd  ar  Vrythbn 
O  vor  Ut  h^yd  vor  Iwerddon. 
Mi  i'm  deddv  wyv  diamryson, 
O'r  priv  veirdd,  vy  tnhrlv  gyveillion.f 

"My  tongue  pronounces  judgment  upon  Britons,  from 

•  W.  Archaiol,  p.  263. 

♦  Ibid.  p.  283. 

c  2 


"  the  British  channel  to  the  Irish  sea.  By  my  institute,  t 
"  am  an  enemy  to  contention — of  the  order  of  the  prirt}i- 
"  five  BardSj  who  have  been  my  early  companions." 

He  admits  the  power  and  efficacy  of  the!  mystical 

jDuw  Dovydd  dym  tydd  feitun  Awen— her 
Tal  o  hair  Kyrridwen.* 

"  God,  the  Rulef,  gives  me  a  ray  of  melodious  song,  as 
"  if  it  were  from  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen." 

And  again,  in  his  address  to  Llywelyn,  the  son  of  lor-^ 
%verth,  he  acknowledges  Taliesin  as  the  publisher  of  the 
mystical  train. 

.  Cyvatchav  i*m  E.h§n  cyvarchvawr  Awen, 
Cyvreu  Kyrridwen,  Rhwyv  Barddoni, 
Yn  dull  Taliesin  yn  dillwng  Elphin, 
Yn  dyllest  Barddrln  Beirdd  vanieri. 

"  1  will  address  my  Lord,  with  the  greatly  greeting  muse, 
"  with  the  dowry  of  Kyrridwen,  the  Ruler  of  Bardisnij^ 
"  in  the  manner  of  Taliesin,  when  he  liberated  Elphin, 
"  when  he  overshaded  the  Baidic  mystery  with  the  banner* 
«  of  the  Bards  "t 

In  the  same  poem,  the  Bard  speaks  of  Druidical  vatici- 
nations, as  known  in  his  time. 

»  W.  Archaiol.  p.  290. 

+  Mr.  Turner's  Translation, 


Darogan  Merddin  dyvod  Breyenhin 
O  Gymry  werin,  o  gamhwri : 
Bywawd  Derwyddon  dadeni  haelon, 
O  hll  eryron  o  Eryri. 

"  Merddin  prophesied,  that  a  King,  should  come,  from 
*'  the  Cymry  nation,  out  of  the  oppressed.  Druids  have 
"  declared,  thoit  liberal  ones  should  be  born  anew,  from  the 
"  progeny  of  the  eagles  of  Stiowdon." 

Such  is  the  testimony  of  this  venerable  Bard,  as  to  the 
genuineness  of  those  mystical  poems,  which  bore  the  name 
of  Taliesin  and  Merddin;  and  in  which  the  lore  of  the 
Druids  was  communicated  to  the  Britons  of  his  age. 


Eli  DYE  Sais,  the  contemporary  of'  Llywarch,  deduces 
the  melody  of  his  linea  from  the  mystic  caiildrQ,ni  which 
had  been  the  source  of  inspiration  to  Merddin,  as  well  as  to 

Llethraid  vy  marddair  wedi  Merddin, 
Llethrid  a  berid  o  bair  Awen.* 

"  Flowing  is  my  bardic  lay^  after  the  model  of  Merd- 
**  din:  a  smoothness  produced  from  the  cauldron  of  the 
"  Awen. 

Philip  Bbydydd  was  another  Bard,  who  enjoyed  the 
privilege  of  the  chair  of  presidency,  and  wrote  between  the 
years.  1200  and  1250.  This  author,  alluding  to  a  dispute,, 
in  which  he  had  been  engaged  with   certain  pretended 

•  W.  Aichaiol,  p.8SO,252.. 


Bards,  or  mere  poets,  in  t'le  court  of  iJ/tyS,  Prince  of  South 
Wales,  thus  expresses  his  sentiments. 

Cadair  Vaelgwn  hir  a  huberid — i  Veirdd ; 
Ac  nid  i'r  goveirdd  yd  gy  verchid  : 
Ac  am  y  gadair  honno  heddiw  bei  heiddid 
Bod  se  ynt  herwydd  gwir  a  braint  yd  ymbrovid : 
Byddynt  Derwyddon  pruddion  Prydain ; 
'     Nis  gwaew  yn  adain  nid  attygid.* 

"  The  chair  of  the  great  Maelgwn  was  publicly  prepared 
"  for  Bards;  and  not  to  poetasters  was  it  given  in  com- 
"  pliment:  and  if,  at  this  day,  they  were  to  aspire  to  that 
"  chair,  they  would  be  proved,  by  truth  and  privilege,  to 
"  be  what  they  really  are:  the  grave  Druids  of  Britain 
"  would  be  there;  nor  could  these  attain  the  honour,  though 
"  their  wing  should  ach  with  fluttering." 

The  chair  of  Maelgwn,  it  is  known,  was  fiUed,  by  the 
mystical  Taliesin;  and  the  Bard  declares,  that  grave 
Druids,  whose  prerogative  it  was  to  determine  the  merit  of 
candidates  for  this  chair,  were  still  in  being.  In  the  same 
poem,  he  asserts  the  dignity  of  the  Druidical  order,  and 
ridicules  some  popular  errors  respecting  their  scanty  meanji 
of  subsistence. 

Ar  y  lien  valchwen  ni  vylchid — y  braint 
Yd  ysgarawd  henaint  ag  ieuenctid. 

Rhwng  y  pren  frwythlawu 

A'r  tair  priv  fynawn, 

Nid  oedd  ar  Irgrawn 
Yd  ymborthid. 

♦  W.  Arehaiol.  p.  37r. 


.  ■*'  Of  the  proud  white  garmerit  (the  Druidical  robe)  which 
*'  separated  the  elders  from'  the  youth,  the  privilege  might 
"  not  be  infringed.  Between  the  fruit-bearing  tree,  -and 
"  the  three  primary  fountains,  it  was  not  uipon  green  ber- 
"  ries  that  they  subsisted."^ 

The  fruit-bearing  'tree  was  the  same  as  the  arbor  frur 
gifera  of  Tacitus,  ajid  Merddin's  Avallen  Beren — the 
means  of  divining  by  lots,  as  will  be  seen  hereafter.  The 
three  mystical  fountains  are  the  theme  of  Taliesin,  in  a 
poem  which  treats  of  the  formation  of  the  world.  The 
Bard,  therefore,  implies, -that  religious  mystery,  and  the 
profession  of  physiology,  were  sources  from  which  the 
'  Druids  derived  a  comfortable  support. 

Hywel  VoEi,  viTOte  between  1240  and  1280.  In  an 
bde,  addressed  to  Owen,  the  son  of  GrufFudd,  he  compares 
his  hero  to  Gwron,  one  of  the  three  founders  of  Druidism, 
iand  acknowledges  him  as  protector  of  the  city,  or  commu- 
mty  of  Bards. 

Uigabyl  wawr,  gwriawr  val  Gwron, 
Gwraidd  blaid  bliant  arwyddon 
Dinam  hael,  o  hil  eryrori, 
Dinag  draig  dinas  Cerddorian.'j- 

"  Fairly  dawning,  manly-like  Gwron,  the  root  whence 
"  sprung  the  pliable  tokens  (the  mystical  spugs  or  lots) 
'"  blameless  and  liberal,  of  the  xace  of  eagles,  undoubted 
"  dragon  (guardian)  of  the  city  of  Bards." 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  393. 


We  shall  find,  that  eagles  and  dragons  are  conspicuous 
figures  in  Bardic  mythology* 

Madawg  DwYGRAiG  lived  at  the  period  when  the 
Welsh  government 'was  finally  ruined,  and  wrote  between 
the  years  1290  and  1340:  He  thus  laments  the  death  of 
his  patron,  Gruffiidd  ab  Madawg. 

Yn  nhair  llys  y  gwys  gwaisg  ddygnedd, 

Nad  by w  llun  teyrnaidd  llyw,  llin  teyrnedd 

Balch  y  beirdd,  bobl  heirdd  harddedd — hu  ysgwr 

Bryn,  hynavwalch  gwr  brenhineidd  wSdd. 

Yn  nhrevgoed  i'n  rhoeli  anrhydedd — Digeirdd 

Ym,  ac  vhein  veirdd  am  overedd, 

Yti  gynt  no'r  Uuchwynt  arllechwedd — Ystrad.* 

"  In  three  halls  is  felt  the  oppression  of  anguish,  that  h« 
''  lives  not,  the  chief  of  princely  form,  of  the  royal  and. 
f'  proud  line  of  the  Bards,  a  dignified  race,  the  ornament 
"  of  Hu,  darting  on  the  mount,  most  ancient  of  heroes, 
"  of  kingly  presence.  In  the  dwelling  of  the  wood  (the 
*'  sacred  grove)  honour  was  awarded  to  us :  whilst  uninsti- 
"  tuted,  though  elegant  Bards,  were  pursuing  vanity 
"  swifter  thai^  ^he  sudden  gale,  that  skims  over  the  sloping 
"  shore." 

It  will  be  seen  hereafter  that  Hu,  to  whom  the  Bards 
were  devoted  in  their  hallowed  wood,  was  the  great  deemon 
god  of  the  British  Druids. 

We  are  now  come  down  to  the  ag^  of  Edward  the  Firsl, 

.*  W.  AtctmiQl.  p.  481, 


tlxe  reputed  assassinator  of  the  Bards,  the  tale  of  whose 
cruelty  has  been  hmnortalized  by  the  pen  of  Grey.. 

.But  here,  fame  has  certainly  calumniated  the  English 
King;  for  there  is  not  the  name  of  a  single  Bard  upon 
record,  who  suifered,  either  by  his  hand,  or  by  his  orders. 
His  real  act  was  the  removal  of  that  patronage,  under 
which  the  Bards  had  hitherto  cherished  the  heathenish  su- 
perstition of  their  ancestors,  to  the  disgrace  of  our  native 

A  threefold  addition  to  such  extracts  as  the  preceding, 
might  easily  be  made  from  the  writers  of  this  period ;  but, 
I  trust,  what  is  here  produced,  will  be  deemed  an  ample 
foundation  lor  the  following  inferences  ; 

1.  That  the  ancient  supei'stition  of  Druidism,  or,  at  least, 
some  part  of  it,  was  considered  as  having  been  preserved  in 
Wales  without  interruption,  and  cherished  by  the  Bards,  to 
the  vfery  last  period  of  the  Welsh  Princes. 

2.  That  these  Princes  were  so  far  from  discouraging  this 
?uperstitition,  that,  on  the  contrary,  they  honoured  its  pro- 
fessors with  their  public  patronage. 

3.  That  the  Bards  who  flourished  under  these  Princes, 
especially  those  who  enjoyed  the  rank  of  Bardd  Cadair,  or 
filled  the  chair  of  presidency,  avowed  themselves  true  dis-. 
ejples  pf  the  ancient  Prviids, , 

4.  That  they  pi-ofessed  to  have  derived  their  knowledge 
of  Druidical  lore,  from  the  works  of  certain  ancient  and 
primitive  Bards,  which  constituted  their  principal  study, 
and  which  were  regarded  as  genuine,  and  of  good  au- 

5.  That  amongst  these  masters,  they  mention,  with  emi- 
nent respect,  the  names  of  Tnliesin  and  Merddin ;  and 
particularly  extol  that  mystical  lore,  which  was  derived 
from  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen,  and  published  by  ihe  for- 
mer of  those  Bards. 

6.  That  they  describe  the  matter  contained  in  their  sacred 
poems,  as  precisely  the  same  which  we  still  find  in  liie 
mystical  pieces,  preserved  under  the  names  of  Taliesin  and 
Merddin ;  so  that  there  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  the  identity 
of  those  pieces. 

And,  7.  That  upon  the  subject  of  genuine  British  tradi- 
tion, they  specifically  refer  to  no  writers  which  are  no\T 
extant,  as  of  higher  authority  than  Taliesin  and  Merddin. 

I  therefiare  conclude,  that  the  poems  of  the  ancient 
Bards,  here  specified,  however  their  value,  as  compoifltion, 
may  be  appreciatedy  are  to  be  ranked  amongst  the  most 
authentic  documents  which  the  Welsh  possess,  upon  the 
Subject  of  British  Druidism. 

A  diligent  attention  to  the  worTcs  of  those  Bards,  will 
enable  us  to  bring  forward  some  other  ancient  documents, 
which  have  been  drawn  up  in  a  concise  and  singular  form, 
for  the  purpose  of  assisting  the  memory;  which  are  evi- 
dently derived  from  the  sources  of  primitive  Bardic  loie. 


and  therefore  are  undoubted  repositories  of  genuitie  British 

The  documents  I  Inean,  are  those  which  are  generally 
called  the  historical  Triads,  though  many  of  them,  strictly 
speaking,  are  purely  mythological. 

These  dociimeuts  have  lately  been  treated  with  much  af- 
fected and  unmerited  contempt. 

■  It  is  admitted,  that  the  notices  eontaihed  in  some  fevir 
of  the  Triads,  appear,  upon  a  superficial  view,  to  be  eithei: 
absurd  or  trifling ;  and  it  may  be  inferred,  from  one  or  two 
others,  that  the  Welsh  had  hot  wholly  relinquishied  this 
mode  of  composition,  till  a  short  period  before  the  dissolu- 
tion of  their  national  governmeM. 

It  is  also  acknowledged,  that  the  testimony  of  copyists, 
as  to  the  antiquity  of  the  MSS.  which  they  consulted,  goes 
no  higher  than  to  the  tenth  century. 

But  these  circumstances  will  hardly  justify  some  modern 
critics  in  the  assertion,  that  the  Triads  are  altogether  fu- 
tile; that  they  are  modern;  that  there  is  no  proof  of  theiir 
cohtaining  genuine  Welsh  tradition;  and  that  they  were 
never  collected  in  writing  before,  the  date  of  those  MSS. 
which  are  expressly  recorded. 

Hardy  assertion  and  dogmatical  judgment  are  soon  pro- 
nounced; but  the  candid  and  consistent  antiquary,  ■  who 
shall  refuse  any  degree  of  credit  to  the  British  Triads,  will 
find  many  things  to  prove,  sks  well  as  to  assert,  before  lip 
comes  to  his  conclusion. 


1'  know'  of  no  peculiarity  in  the  habits  of  the  Celtie  na- 
tions more  prevalent,  or  which  can  be  traced  to  higher  anr 
tiquity,  than  their  propensity  to  make  ternary  arrangements 
r-^to  describe  one  thing  under  three  distinct  heads,  or  to 
bring  tiiree  distinct  objects  under  one  point  of  view. 

This  feature  presents  itself  in  their  geographical  and  po- 
litical schenies.  The  nations  of  Gaul  were  divided  into> 
three  great  confederacies ;  the  Belgce,  the  Aquitani,  and  the 
proper  Celia:  and  these  were  united  in  one  body,  by  the 
Concilium  totius  Galliee,  in /which  we  find  that  the  members 
of  each  confederacy  had  equally  their  seat.* 

Again :  we  are  told,  that  in  omni  Gallia,  or  throughout 
.these  ^Aree  confederacies,  the  inhabitants  were  distributed 
into  three  ranks — the  Druida,  t^e  Equites,  and  the  Plebes.; 
and  that  the  priesthood  was  subdivided  into  Druids,  Bards, 
and  Ovates. 

The  Britons,  in  like  manner^  divided  their  island,  into 
Lloeger,  Cymru  ag  Alban :  and  wheri  they  were  shut  up  in 
Wales,  that  district,  without  regard  to  the  actual  number 
of  their  reigning  Princes,  constituted  three  regions,  called 
Gwynedd,  Fywys  a  Deheubarth;  and  each  of  these  was 
distxibuted  into  a  number  pf  Cautrevs,  Cwmmtvds,  and 

That  this  humour  of  ternary  classification  pervaded  tlxe- 
Druidical  school,  I  have  already  shewn  from  ancient  autho- 
rity; which  presents  us  with  the  only  maxims  of  the 
Druids,  which  had  become  public,  in  the  "identical  form  of 
Welsh  Triads. 

•  C«3.  'd«  Bell.  Gal.  L.  I.  c.  SO^—L.  VI.  c.  3, 

The  ancient  Welsli  laws,  which  were  revised  by  Howel 
t)da  in  the  former  part  of  the  tenth  century,  present  us 
with  a  long  book  of  Triads,  and  these  are  called  Trioedd 
Cyvraith,  Triades  Forenses,*  by  way  of  distinction  from  the 
well-known  Trioedd  Ynys  Prydain, 

Will  it  be  said,  that  this  national  partiality  to  Triads  had 
been  forgotten  for  ages,  and  was  afterwards  renewed  by  the 
Welsh  of  the  tenth  century  ?  Or,  if  a  dashing  critic  were 
to  hazard  the  assertion,   how  is  "he  to  support  it? 

Mr.  Turner  has  demonstrated,  that  the  Gododin  of  Aneu- 
tin  is  a  genuine  composition  of  the  sixth  century.  But 
so  fond  were  the  Britons  of  the  ternary  arrangement,  in  the 
days  of  Aneurin,  that  in  one  single  page  of  that  work,  he 
distinctly  recites  the  titles  of  ten  Triads,  and  that  merely 
in  the  description  of  an  army. 

Taliesin,  the  contemporary  of  this  Bard,  is  fuH  of  allu- 
ision  to  Triads,  which  had  existed  from  remote  antiquity, 
and  which  he  cites  with  respect,  by  way  of  authority., 

yor  example. 

1 .  Tair  fynawn  y  sydd.     W.  Archaiol,  p.  20. 

2.  Trydydd  par  yngnad,  p.  35. 

3.  Tri  thri  nodded. 

4.  Tri  charn  avlawg,  p.  44. 

5.  Tri  lloneid  Prydwen,  p.  45. 

6.  Tri  wyr  nod,  p.  48. 

7.  Tair  blynedd  dihedd,  p.  49. 

8.  Tri  dillyn  diachor. 

*  Wotton's  Leg.  Wall.  L.  IV.  p  898. 


9.  Tair  llynges  yn  aches. 

10.  Tri  diwedydd  ead. 

11.  Tri  phriawd  Gwlad,  p.  64. 
12-  Trydedd  dovn  doethur. 

13.  Tri  chynweisad. 

14.  Tri  chyvarwydd,  p.  65,  &c.  &c. 

That  Triads  were  perfectly  familiar  to  the  age  of  Aneurm 
and  Taliesin,  is  a  fact  which  needs  no  farther  proof :  and  I 
know  of  no  reason  to  surmise,-  that  they  had  not  beett 
committed  to  writing  before  that  period. 

Some  of  the  identical  Triads,  mentioned  by  the  oldest 
Bards,  are  still  preserved  5  others  have  been  lost.  We  do 
not  possess  a  complete  collection*  of  these  scraps  of  anti- 
quity. The  respectable  antiquary,  Thomas  Jones,  of  Tre- 
garon, informs  us,  that  in  the  year  I6OI,  he  could  recover 
only  126  out  of  the  three  hundred,  a  definite  number  of 
which  l^e  had  some  particular  account.  The  research  of  later 
times  has  not  been  competent  to  make  up  the  deficiency,  i* 

As  the  authority  of  the  Triads  was  quoted,  with  eminent 
respect,  by  the  most  ancient  Bards  now  extant,  we  may 
faii-ly  infer,  that  the  matter  contained  in  them  was  analog 
gous  to  the  doctrine  of  those  Bards,  and  that  it  is  the 
genuine  remaiiis  of  more  ancient  Bards,  'who  had  professed 
the  same  religion.  I  shall  make  it  appear,  in  the  course 
of  th6  Essay,  that  such  was  the  real  state  of  the  aifair. 

*  The  term  Collection  has  offended  some  minute  critics.  They  ask  for  the 
^ook  of  Triads,  and  the  name  of  the  author.  They  might  as  well  ask  for  th& 
Book  of  adages,  and  llie  name  of  the  aiithor.  Every  Triad  is  a  whole  in  it-, 
self;  and  the  ancient  copyists  transcribed  only  asjoan^  as  suited  their  acca- 
siun,  or  pleased  their  fancy. 

t  W.  Archaiol.  Vol.  JI.  p.  75. 


Out  of  the  catalogue  of  Triads,  I  shall  therefore  only 
strike  out  about  half  a  dozen,  which  refer  to  more  recent 
facts  in  history,  or  else  betray  a  tincture  of  the  cloister; 
and  the  remainder  I  shall  freely  use,  when  Occasion  requires, 
in  conjunction  with  Taliesin,  Ane.urm,  and  Merdclin,  as  ge^ 
liuine  repositories  of  British  tradition:  and  to  these  I  shall 
sidd  some  mythological  tales,  which  appear,  from  internal 
evidence  and  correspondent  imagery,  to  have  been  derived 
from  the  same  source. 

From  the  general  persuasioi*  of  the  Welsh,  and  the 
known  state  of  literature  in  the  country,  I  had  formed  an 
opinion,  that  no  documents,  materially  differing  from  those 
already  mentioned,  could  have  an  equal  claim  to  authenti- 
city^ as  Cambro-British  tradition :  and  that  the  early  Bards 
and  the  Triads  were,  in  fact,  the  great  sources  of  infor- 
mation upon  this  subject.  ^ 

'  Other  records,  however,  in  some  respects  irreconcileable, 
'with  the  former,  have  been  pointed  out  of  late  years  by 
Mr.  Onsen,  the  author  of  the  Welsh-English  Dictionary, 
and  Mr.  Ed.  Williams,  author  of  two  volumes  of  ingenious 

la  order  to  estimate  the  value  of  such  novel  claimants  as 
these  records,  I  shall,  first  all,  consider  their  pretensions,  as 
Btated  by  those  writers  who  have  announced  them  to  the 

Mr.  Owen's  edition  of  Llywarch  H6n  appeared  in  the 


y6at  179^-  fhe  introdaction  contains  a  long  account'  of 
"  Bardism,  drawn  up  by  the  assistance  of  Mr.  Williams,  and 
from  his  communications.  This  account  states,  that  the 
British  constitution  of  Bardism,  or  Druidism,  having,  con- 
tinued in  Wales,  without  interruption,-  to  the  dissolution 
of  the  Cambro-British  government,  was,  in  consequence 
of  that  event,  in  danger  of  becoming  extinct.  But  that 
within  twenty  years  after  the  death  of  the  la&t  Llewelyn, 
certain  members  of  the  order  established  a  chair,  a  kind  of 
Bardiocollege,  in  Glamorganshire,  which  has  continued  to 
this  day.  A  catalogue  is  given  of  the  presidents  and  mem- 
bers of  this  chair,  from  Trahaearn  Brydydd  Mawr,  the  first 
president,  or  founder,  in  1300,  down  to  the  present  Mr. 
Ed.  Williams. 

We  are  also  told,  that  certain  members,  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  began  to  collect  the  learning,  laM's,  and  traditions 
of  the  order  into  books ;  that  these  collections  were  revised 
and  ratified  in  the  seventeenth  century ;  and  that  they  are 
Btill  received  as  the  fundamental  rules  of  the  society.*     - 

From  the  passages  to  which  I  refer,  it  appears,  that  Mr. 

Owen  derives  his  information  from  Mr.  Williams;  ami  the 

latter  from  the  acts,  traditions,  and  usages  of  the  Chafr  of 

Glamorgan,  as  contained  in  their  ra^/^ec?  documents  of  the 

seventeenth  century. 

It  may  fairly  be  pleaded,  tliat  the  acts  of  a  society  of 
Bards,,  which  was  incorporated  within  twenty  year*  after  the 

*  See  Mr.  Owen's  Irrtrod.  to  LI.  Hgn.   pp.  60,  61,  62. 

Mr.  Williams's  Ptiems,  Vol.  II.  p.  94. 

See  also  Mr.  Turner's  Viniicaxian,    p.  226,  and  a  circumstantial  nett« 
communicated  by  Mr.  Owen,  p,  %%7,  &c. 


deprivation  of  the  Welsh  Princes^  the  undoubted  patrons 
t)f  Bards  and  Bardism ;  and  which  has.  continued,  without 
interruption,  for  five  hundred  years,  must  contain  many  cu-^; 
rious  and  important  particulars  relative  to  this  ancient  and 
national  order  of  men-. 

But  a  slight  inquiry  into  the  credentials  of  the  society 
itself,  will  discover  some  marks  of  gr'oss  misrepresentation, 
if  not  of  absolute  forgery ;  and,  consequently,  suggest  the 
necessity  of  great  caution  in  admitting  its  traditions. 
.  '  -       i  ■■        , 

i.  Trahaearn  l^rydydd  Mawr  is  recorded  as  having  pre- 
sided in  the  year  1300;*  and  several  of  his  successors, 
between  that  date  and  1370,  are  also  mentioned.  But  the 
teattied  antiquary,  Ed.  Llwyd,  gives  the  area  of  the  same 
Trahaearn,  An.  iSSOjf  and  this  from  the  Red  Book  of  Her- 
gest,  a  MS.  written  about  the  cl6se  of  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury, when  the  age  of  our  Bard  must  have  been  accurately 
known.  He  could  not,  therefore,  have  presided  in  the  year 
ISOO,  nor  be  succeeded  by  the  persons  who  are  recorded 
as  his  successors ;  and  thus  the  ratified  account  of  the  esta- 
blishment of  the  chair,  betrays  a  combination  of  fraud  and 

3.  But  in  whatever  manner  this  chair  arose,  its  acts  re- 
cord a  schism,  which  dissolved  the  union  of  the  order,  and 
occasioned  the  chair  of  Glamorgan  to  separate  from  that  of 
Carmarthen,  in  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century,  j  It 
Would  therefore  become  a  question,  which  party  preserved 

*  Owen's  Introd.  p.  62. 

+  Arcliseol.  Brit.  p.  264. 

%  See  Tuinei't  Viodic.  p.  SS9,  &c.  and  Ovre&'s  Introd.  p.  60. 


the  genuine  usages  of  their  predecessors ;  for  in  auch,  dis- 
sentions,  the  right  cause  is  always  pleaded  by  both  sides. 

3.  The  celebrity  and  respectable  support  of  the  chair  of 
Glamorgan,  will  go  but  a  little  way  in  the  assertion  of  its 
cause.  Such  was  its  obscurity,  that  the  WeMi  nation,  far 
from  receiving  its  acts  as  the  genuine  tradition  of  the  coun- 
try, had  scarcely  any  knowledge  or  tradition  of  th©  exist- 
ence of  swch  a  society.  The  few  rustics  by  whonj  the 
members  were  noticed  in  their  fanatical  meetings,  generally 
supposed  them  to  be  irifidek,  conjurors,  and  we  knov>  not 

4.  It  does  not  appear,  from  their  own  profession,  nor 
from  the  research  of  Llwyd,,  ajid  other  antiquariesj  that  this 
society  possessed  a  single  copy  of  the  works  of  the  ancient 
Bardsj  previous  to  the  eighteenth  century:  and  they  had 
not  begun  writing  and  digesting  their  own  laws  and  insti- 
tutes, till  more  than  two  centuries  and  a  half  after  the  pre- 
tended sera  of  their  establishment. 

The  late  eoHection  of  their  acts,  which  was  begun  about 
the  year  1560,  and  repeatedly  altered,  from  that  time  to  the 
year  1681,  together  with  the  avowed  obscurity  of  the  so- 
ciety in  preceding  times,  may  excite  a  suspicion,  that  in 
all  instances,  genuine  tradition  was  not  within  their  reach, 
however  fair  their  pretensions  to  candour  might  have  been ; 
for  these  were  not  of  the  illustriam  Une  of  'primitive  Bardsf 
reearers  of  gold  chains. 

And  a  defect, of  mformation  actually  appears,  in  an  in- 
stance where  we  sliould,  least  of  all,  have  expected  to  find  it. 

•  Ed.  WiUUnis'  Poems,  V,  11.  p.  161. 


Trahaearn  is  brought  forward  as  the  founder  of  the  chair, 
or  the  first  president ;  and  yet  the  members  have  neither 
document  nor  certain  tradition,  by  which  they  can  identify 
the  genuine  composition  of  this  father  of  the  society.  He 
is  only  supposed  to  be  the  same  person,  zeho  distinguished  him' 
self  vnder  the  assumed  name  of  Casnodyn.* 

5.  But  most  of  all,  the  information  which  Mr.  Owen 
communicates,  from  the  authority  of  the  chair  itself,  ad- 
vises some  suspension  of  confidence  in  the  acts  of  this 

'*  In  this  respect  (of  religion)  the  Bards  adhered  to,  or 
"  departed  from,  their  original  traditions,  only  according 
"  to  the  evidence  that  might  be  acquired,  from  time  to  time, 
"  in  their  search  after  truth."  f 

And  again — "  The  continuation  of  the  institution  did  not 
"  depend  upon  the  promulgation  of  certain  articles  of  faith| 
"  but  upon  its  separate  principles  of  social  compact." 

This  is  surely  a  very  compliant  system,  totally  different 
from  the  idea  which  I  had  formed  of  the  primitive  Bards  or 
Drijids,  as -Sticklers  for  inveterate  opinions,  and  supersti- 
tious rites.  We  must  not  ask  the  chair  of  Glamorgan, 
what  were  the  opinions  of  the  Bards  a  thousand  years  ago ; 
but  what  opinions  do  they  choose  to  adopt  at  present  i 

A  pretended  search  after  truth  leads  men  into  the  inextri- 
cable mazes  of  new  phnosophy  and  new  politics,  as  well  as  of 
new  religions,  just  as  they  are  conducted  by  the  various 

I  'i  I     '  ~ 

•  Owen's- Cam, -Biog.  V.  Trnfcoeom, 
t  Intxod.  to  Ll.  Hen.  p.  28. 
0  2 


iFailcies  of  thdr  guides,  or  by  their  own ;  and  if  a  society 
swowedly  departs  from  its  original  principles,  to  pursue  one 
new  path,  I  see  no  reason  why  it  should  be  incapable  of 
doing  the  same,  to  follow  another. 

It  may  be  wise  for  men  to  despise  exploded  errors,  and 
addict  themselves  to  a  candid  search  after  truth ;  but  if,  at 
the  same  time  that  they  take  this  salutary  course,  they  pre- 
tend to  be  the  sole  and  infullible  repositories  of  ancient  tra- 
ction, ancient  opinions,  anA  ancient  usages,  they  may  surely 
be  charged  with  inconsistency. 

For  the  reasons  which  I  have  now  stated,  I  must  take 
the  liberty  to  search,  after  facts,  rather  than  adopt,  with 
implicit  confidence,  the  dogmas  of  this  newly-discovered 

,  Mr.  Williams,  whether  he  styles  hiitiself  president,  or 
golci  surviving  member,  values  himself  highly  upon  his 
superior  collection  of  Wel^h  manuscripts.  Whatever  h« 
has,  that  can  bear  the  light,  I  should  be  glad  to  see  it 
produced  to  the  Pubhc ;  and  I  would  cheerfully  contribute 
my  mite  to  faciUtate  its  appearance.  But  he  has  no  copy 
»f  a  single  British  writer,  more  ancient,  or  better  accre- 
dited, than,  those  which  I  adduce  in  the  course  of  my  in- 
quiry, and  which  the  light,  held  forth  from  his  chair,  has 
certainly  misrepresented. 

I  therefore  appeal,  from  his  whole  library,  to  the  autho- 
rity of  documents,  which  have  been  known  for  ages  to 
exist;  which  are  now  accessible  to  every  man  who  under- 
stands the  language;  and  which,  as  I  have  already  shewn^ 
have  been  regarded  as  authentically  ierived  from  the  Dru- 
idical  school. 

In  order  to  ascertain,  as  nearly  as  I  can,  that  degree  of 
■  credit  which  is  due  to  the  artcierit  Bards,  it  is  part  of  my 
plan  to  confront  them  with  a  few  historical  facts  relative  to 
the  Driiids. 

Mr.  Williams  cannot  object  to  the  candour  of  my  pro- 
;  ceeding,  if,  occasionally,  I  bring  the  d*ogmas  of  his  society 
to  the  same  impartial  test.     The  result  I  shall  submit,  with- 
out hesitation,  to  the  judgment  of  the  reader. 

In  the  first  place,  then,  it  is  well,  known,  that  amongst 
the  subjects  in  which  the  Druids  were  conversant,  the  pro- 
fession of  magic  made  a  prominent  figure.  Dr.  Bbrlase 
has  a  whole  chapter,  well  supported  with  authorities^-"  Of 
"  their  divinations,  charms,  and  incantations ;"  and  another 
"  Of  the  great  resemblance  betwixt  the  Druid  and  Persian 
"  superstition."  *  Pliny  calls  the  Druids,  the  Magi  of  the 
Gauls  and  Britons :  f  and  of  our  island  he  says  expressly — 
"■  Britannia  hodie  earn  (sc.  Magiam)  attonite  celebrat,  tantis 
"  casremouiis,  ut  eaan,  Persis.  dedisse  videri  possit." 

Such  authorities,  together  with  the  general' voice  of  the 
Bards,  as  it  reached  my  ear,  I  regarded  as  a  sufficient  jus- 
tification for  having  denominated '  the  lots  of  the  Druids 
magical  lots.  But  this,  it  seems,  has  given  umbrage  to  the 
present  representative  of  Taliesin..  In  an  unprovoked  at- 
'tack  upon  my  book,  he  asks — "  Why  did  Mr.  Davies  im- 
*'  pute  magic  to  the  British  Bards,  or  Druids'?  In  the  many 
*'  thousands  of  ancient  poems;  still  extant,  there  is  not  a 
"  syllable  that  mentions,  or  even  alludes. to  any  such  thing" 

*  Antiq.  of.  Cornwall,  B.  II.  ch.  21,  22. 
t  L.  29,  c.  1. 

This  assertion,  coming  from  a  man  who  has,  for  viaj^ 
mars,  been  an  adept  in  the- mysteries  of  Bardism;  who  pas- 
sesses  and  has  read  more  Welsh  MSS.  than  my  otfwi-  man  in 
the  principality ;  and  has  mude  the  works  of  the  Bards  his 
particular  study  for  more  than  ffty  years,  seems  to  bear 
hard,  not  only  upon  the  propriety. -of  my  expression,  hut 
upon  the  claim  of  the  Bards  themselves  to  the  lore  of  the 
Druid«. '  If  this  assertion  be  correct,  in  vain  shall  tbe  Barfs 
of  thg  twelfth  and  thirtemlfc  centaury,  ascribe  to  Taliesin; 
and  in  vain  shall  he  acknowledge  the  Druidical  character. 

But  the  precipitate  use  which  this  writer  occasionally 
makes  of  his  extensive  information,  emboldens  me  toexa* 
mine  his  accuracy  in  the  present  instance. 

I  find  it  is  a  settled  maxim  with  the  chair  of  GlEEmorgail, 
that  the  British  Bards  were  no  conjurors.  Ina  note  upon 
his  Poems,*  which  were  published  in  the  yeai*  1794,  the 
President  having  stated,  upon  the  authority  of  Edmund 
Prys,  that  Meugant  lived  about  the  clo^e  of  the  fourth 
century,  and  was  preceptor  to  the  celebrated  Merlin,  sub- 
joins the  following  information,  as  from  himself  t 

"  There  are  still  extant  some  poems  of  Meugant,  as  well 
"  as  of  his  disciple  Merhn ;  and  from  these,  pieces,  w« 
"  clearly  perceive  that  they  were  neither  ^topkks'  nor  con- 
"  jurors,  though  said  to  have  been  such,  by  some  who  w«ie 
"  certainly  no  great  conjurors  themselves :  they  were  honest 
":  Welsh  Bards,  who  recorded,  in  verse, ;  the  occunrences 
"  of  their  own  times,  never  troubling  themselves  with 
/'  fjiturity," 

•  V.  II.  p.  5. 

As  to  the  seras  of  Meu^ant  &nd  Merlin  (or  Merddin),  it 
toay  be  obsertecJ,  that  there  are  no  remains  of  the  former, 
but  an  elegy  upon  the  death  oi  Cyf^difflati,  a  Prince  of 
Powys,  in  the  tixth  century ;  and  another  littJe  piece,  which 
Inentions  Cadvan,  who  died  about  the  year  630.*  The  only 
Merlin^  or  Mej'ddin,  of  whom  any  thing  is  extant,  was 
Merddin  Wyllt,  the  Caledonian,  who  was  present  at  tlife 
batde  of  Arderydd,  near  the  dose  of.  the  sixth  century,  and 
survived  th^t  event  by  many  years. 

And  how  can  these  Batds  be  said  never  to  have  troubled 
themselves  with  futwrity  ?  The  first  of  Meugant's  poems 
opens  in  the  high  prophetic  style  —Dydd  dyvydd — "  The  day 
will  come ;''  and  speaks  of  the  Druids  as  true  prophets. 
Aild,  Under  the  name  of  Merddin,  we  have  scarcely  any 
thing,  either  genuine  or  spurious,  but  descriptions  of  ma' 
gical  lots,  tiuguries  by  birds^  and  strings  oi  pretended  vati- 

So 'much  for  the  integrity  of  this  dictatorial  chair.  And, 
if  the  recollection  of  the  President  deserted  him,  upOn  a 
subject  so  notorious,  may  we  not  surmise  the  possibility  of 
a  few  passages,  which  contain  some  allusion  to  magic,  hav- 
ifflg  escaped  his  memory. 

Before  I  adduce  proofs  of  the  fact  here  suggested,  I  must 
|iremise,  that  I  do  not  understand  the  term  magic,  when 
applied  to  the  Druids  and  their  disciples,  as  restricted  to 
the  profession  of  necromancy,  or  conjuring ;  but  as  including 
the  practice  of  mysterious  rites,  under  pretence  of  pro- 
ducing extraordinary  effects,  from  natural  causes.    Such,  I 

*  W.  Aiebaiol.  p.  SSi},  HOa^ 


apprehend,  was  the  magic  of  Britain,  which  Pliily  eonttem- 
platrted,  with  astonishment.  If,  therefore,  it  be  true,  that 
the  ancient  British  Bards  neither  mentioned  nor  alliided  to 
magical  rites,  in  this  or  any  otlier  sense,  it  is  an  unanswer- 
able objection  to  the  authenticity  of  their  pretensions,  as 
preservers  of  Druidjcai  Ipre.  BMt;this.  is  by  no  means  tjie- 

In  the  passages  which  I  have  extracted,  ftom  the  Bards 
of  the  middl;  centuries,  wf  have  had  frequent  mention  of 
the  mystical  cauldron,  which'  was  viewed  as  the  source  of 

Tiiliesin  acknowledges  the  same  cauldron  as  the  fountain 
of  his  genius;  and,  in  a  mythological  tale,  describing  the 
initiation  of  that  Bard,  we  find  the  Goddesss  Ce,ridwen  pre* 
paring  tli^  water  of  ,this  sacred  vage,  which  contained  a 
decoction  of  potent  herbs,  collected  with  due  observation 
of  the  planetary  hovrs.  So  efficacJQus  was  this  medicated 
water,  that  no  sooner  had  three  drops  of  it  touched  the  Hps 
of  the,  Bardj  than  aH  futurity  was  displayed  to  his  view.* 

As  I  shall  have  occasion  hereafter  to  introduce  this  cu- 
rious tale,  I  shall  not  enlarge  upon  it  &\  present,  or  upon 
Taliesin's  account  of  the  various  ingredients  of  the  caul- 
dron, in  the  poem  called  his  Chair,  I  only  submit  to  the 
reader'ajudgnjent,  that  this  is  absolute. magicj  as  understood 

*  W,  Arefeajpl.  p.  ir. 

This  genuine  Bardic  account  of  the  pioduetian  of  jihe  water  of  At^in,  o» 
Inspiration,  is  scarcely  reconoilcable  with  the  doctrine  which  Mr.  Owen  derives 
Irom  the  chair  of  Glamorgan ;  namely,  tliat — "  The  Bardic  theolpgji  laws  and 
,«•  principles,  have,  in  all  ages,  been  referred  to  inspiration,  or  asserted  to  be 
"  deri*ed/f)U>i  heaven^  under  thcHeuonjiuation  of  Aweii." 

lutfod.  to  H.  lUn,  p.  6S. 


by  the  aiiciehts.  But  lest  this  sliouM  not  come  up  to  the 
idea  which  has  been  conceived  of  the  mysterious  art,  I 
must  endeavour  to  produce  allusions  to  something*  that  looks 
more  like  conjuring, 

■     In  the  Welsh  Archaiology,  there  is  a  remarkable  song 
ascribed  to  Taliesin,  which  begins  thus. 

Duw  difer  nevwy  rhag  Uanw  lied  ovrwy ! 
Cyritav  attarwy  atreis  tros  vordwy, 

Py  bren  a  vo  mwy  noc  ev  Daronwy, 

Nid  vu  am  noddwy,  amgylch  balch  Nevwy, 

Yssid  rin  y  sydd  ta^rj,  gwawr  gwyr  Goronwy, 
Odid  a'i  gwypwy;  hudlath  Vathonwy, 
Ynghoed  pan  dyvwy  firwythau  mwy  Cymi-wy 
Ar  laa-Gwyllionwy :  Kynan  a'i  cafwy  ' 

Piyd  pan  wledychwy.* 

"  May  the  heavenly  God  protect  us  from  a  general  over- 
"  flowing !  The  first  surging  billow  has  rolled  beyond  th« 
"  sea  beach.  A  greater  tree  than  he,  Turonwy,  there  has 
"  not  been,  to  afford  us  a  sanctuary,  round  the',  proud  celes.. 
"  tial  circle. 

"  There  is  a  greater  secret,  the  dawn  of  the  men  of  Go- 
"  ronwy,  though  known  to  few — the  magic  wand  of  Ma- 
"  thonwy,  which'  grows  in  the  wood,  with  more  exuberant 
"  fruit,  on  the  bank  of  the  river  of  spectres:  Kynan  shall 
*'  obtain  it  at  the  time  when  he  governs." 

W.Aicliaiol.  Pj62. 


;,'1rhis  wa^  purely  caviies  some  allusioai  to  the  profession 
ef  magk,  an  art  )(?lu<3|b  i»  op$aly  ^vow^d  iai  the  l^ajcitatioi)^ 
of  Cynvelyn.*  - 

But  lest  the  accuracy  of  my  translation  should  be  dis- 
puted, I  shall  exhibit  a  few  passages  of  that  remarkabla 
poem,  in  Mf.  Oweijijf  owji  version.  ^f,- 

"  Were  I  to  compose  th!0  strain— -were.  I  to  sing — magic 
"  gpdh  would  spring,  Mlie  those  produced  by  the  spcle  and 
"  wand  of  Twrcb  Trwyth." 

"  CynV)elyii-»-the  ewricher  of  di^e^mimng  magician,  whpsff 
"  spell  shall  be  as  powerfiil  as  tlie  form  of  Morien — under 
"  the  thiglm  of  the  generous,  in  equal  pace  sh«.ll  run,  die 
"  sprites  of  the  gloonit  skimmihg  along  the  pleasaat  hills." 
,  <  ■    '  * 

,  "  The  superiot)  of  iJie  prize-contending  songs  is  jthegi/ar- 
"  dian  spell  of  Cynvelyn,  the  beloved  chief,  from  jwhom 
"  blessmgs  flow." 

"  The  guaidian  ^pelloi  Cynvdyn — oniihe  plains  ofCfo- 
"  dodin-rr'shall  it  not  prevail  over  Odiaf  f 

Such  are  the  poems,  in  which  it  has  been  asserted, 
"  there  is  not  a  syllable  that  mentions  magic,  ox  even  alladf ^ 
"  to  any -such  diing."  And  such  is  the  candid  translation, 
with  which  our  ingenious  lexicographer  gratified  the  cn- 
tiotis,  only  two  years  before  he  published  his  Llywarch 
Hen,  and  announced  the  principles  of  the  chair  of  Gla- 

•  Vr.  ArchaioF.  p.  158.      " 
t  Goat.  Msg.  Nev.  17*0.» 


Thus  it  appears,  that  the  Druidical  profession  of  the 
^rds  is  not  discreditett  by  an  abhorrence  of  magic,  an  art 
which  antiquity  positively  ascribes  to  their  piedecessors, 
both  in  Gaul  and  Britain.  Let  the  recent  code  make  gqod 
its  own  assertions. 

That  the  Druids  did  use  sortilege,  or  divination  by  lots, 
which  seems  to  have  been  a  branch  of  magic,  is  another 
historical  fact,  aiscertained  by  the  testimony  of  Pli'ny,  who 
says,  that  they  exhibited  the  Vervain  in  the  exercise  of  that 
superstitious  rite.  It  may  be  added,  tliat  the  use  oi  tallies, 
or  sprigs,  cut  from  a  fruit-bearing  tree,  which  Tacitus  as- 
cribes to  the  Germans,  was  probably  common  to  them  with 
the  Druids,  bec&use  we  still  find  alMsions  to  the  same  sub- 
jeet  in  the  British  Bards.* 

In  my  late  voltmie,  I  stated  what  appeared  to  me  the 
genuine  tradition  of  the  Britons,  relative  to  these  lots^  and 
With'  them  I  connected  the  letters,  which  are  called  Coel- 
breni,  Omensticks,  Lots,  or  Tallies,  f 

My  opinion,  I  thdught,  was  innocent  at  least ;  but  it  pro- 
duced from  Mr.  Williams  a  severe  philippic,  together  with 
an  exposition  of  some  curious  Ihythology,  upon  the  origin 
of  letters  and  language,  which  is  not  to  be  found  in  any 
anfcieht  British  writer.  This  was  put  into  the  bands  of  my 
best  friends  :  but  I  shall  not  take  farther  notice  of  manu- 
script ox  oral  criticism.  I  only  wish  the  author  to  publish 
it;  when  I  sfee  it  in  print,  thy  answer  shall  be  ready. 

•  See  Sect.  V. 

f  Celt.  Bes.  p.  245,  &c 


I  now  go  on  to  consider  the  character  of  the  ancient 
Bards,  as  natural  pliilosophers.  With  what  success  the 
Druids,  their  avowed  preceptors,  cultivated  the  study  ©f 
natare,  and  what  system  of  physiology  they  taught  to  their 
disciples,  may  be  matter  of  curious  inquiry,  which  I  must 
leave  to  others.  iBut  as  to  the  fact,  that  they  addicted 
themselves  to  studies  of  this  kind,  we- have  maiiy  express 
testimonies  in  th«  ancients.     I  select  the  following;. 

*  "  Ea  divinationum  ratio,  ne,  in  barbaria  quidiem  gen- 
"  dem  gentibusneglectaest:  siquidem,  et  in  Gallia,  Dru- 
"  ides  sunt,  e  quibus  ipse  Divitiacuni  Aeduum,  hospitem 
"  tuum  laudatoremque,  cognovi :  qui  et  natura  rationem, 
<'  quam  physiologiam  Grteci  appellant,  notam  esse  sibi  pra- 
"Jitetur,  et,  partim  auguriis,  partim  conjectun%  qui3e  essent 
♦*  futura  dicebat."  \ 

Upon  this. passage  I  would  remark,  that  Cicero  does  ijot- 
speak  from'  vagiie  report :  he  declares  the  profession  of  a 
man  who  was  personally  known  to  him,  who  had  been  his 
guest,  and  with  whom  he  had  familiarly  conversed.  He 
also  gives  unequiVocal  testimony,  that  Divitiacus  Aediius 
was  a  Druid,  and  Well  versed  in  the  various  studies  of  hip. 

It  must  be  recollected,  that  this  same  Prince  of  the 
Aedui  was  the  intimate  friend  and  companion  of  Caesar,^ 

*  "  This  method  of  divinaiion  lias  not  been  neglected  even  amongst  barbae 
"  rolls  nations.  For  there  are  Druids  in  Gaul,  with  one  of  whom  I  was  ac- 
"  quainted,  namely,  Divitiacus  Aeduus,  v»ho  enjoyed  the  hospitality  of  your 
"  house,  and.  spoke  of  yon  with  admiration.  This  man  not  only  prolessed  an, 
"  intimate  knowledge  of  the  system  of  nature,  whieh  the  Greeks  call  Phyiiologift 
"  but  also  foretold  future  events,  partly  by  augury,  and  partly  by  conjecture,"^ 

+  Cic.  de  Divinatione,  L.  J^  , 


and  that  he  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  that  great  man,  at 
the  very  time  he  drew  up  his  valuable  account  of  the  Druids. 
It  is  more  than  barely  probable,  that  this  adcount  was  col- 
lected from  the  actual  communications  of  Divitiacus ;  for 
it  is  immediately  subjoined  to  the  relation  of  his  embassy  to 
the  senate  of  Rome,  and  the  acknowledgment  of  the  pre- 
eminent rank  of  his  countrymen,  the  Aedui.  From  hence 
I  would  infer,  that  Ciesar  had  procured  :the  most  accurate 
information  upon  the  subject  of  the  Druids,  and  conse- 
quently, that  every  circumstance  in  his  memorial  has  a  claim 
to  the  highest  respect. 

This  competent  historian,'  therefore,  having  stated  the 
tradition,  that  the  discipline  of  thepe  ancient  priests  had 
been  first  established  in  Britain ;  and  the  fdct,  that  at  the 
time  when  he  wrote,  those  who  wished  to  be  more  accu- 
rately instructed  in  the  Druid  lore,  generally  went  into 
Britain  for  their  education ;  proceeds  to  specify,  amongst 
the  topics  of  their  study-^*  Multa  prasterea— de  rerum  na- 
turS. — disputant — et  juventuti  tradunt.  f. 

We  have,  then,  abundant  authority  to  assert,  that  the 
Druids  aspired  to  the  character  of  natural  philosophers : 
and  it  would  be  reasonable  to  demand  of  the  Bards,  theii; 
professed  disciples,  some  pretensions  of  the  same  kind. 

The  poems  of  Taliesin  furnish  several  passages,  which 
may  be  classed  under  this  head.  Of  these,  the  following 
cosmography  may  be  given  as  a  curious  specimen. 

•  They  also  dispute  largely  upon  siibjests  of  natjiral  phUosqphy,  and  inr 
struct  the  youth  in  their  piinciples. 

♦  De  Bell.  Gall.  L.  VI,  c.  14. 


Os  yTvch  brfv  veirddion 
Cyrwyv  celvyddon, 
Traethwch-  orchuddion 
O'r  Mundi  maou— 

Ymae  prjrv  atgas, 
O  gaer  Satanas, 
A  oresgynas 
Rh#fig'«}wvn:  a  bas. 
Cyvled  yw  ei  enau^ 
A  mynydd  Mynnau  i 
Nys  gorvydd  angau 
JSsi  llaw  oa  llavnau. 
Mae  llynyth  naw  can  maen 
Tn  rhawu  dwy  bawen : 
Un-Uygad  yn  ei  ben 
Giwyrdd  val  gl&s  iaen. 

Tair  fynawn  y  sydd 

Yn  ei  wegorlydd ; 

Mor  vryched  arnaw 

A  noviaat  trwyddaw 

Bu  laith  bualawn 

Deivi"  ddonwy  dyvr  ddawn. 

Henwau'r  tair  fynawn 

0  ganol  eigiawn ; 
Un  Uwydd  heli 
Pan  vo  yn  corini 

1  edryd  lliant 

Dros  movoedd  divant. 

Yr  ail  yii  ddinam 
A  ddygwydd  arnam 


Pan  vo'r  glaw  allaa 
Drwy  awyr  ddylan. 
Y  drydedd  a  ddawedd. 
Trwy  wythi  rnynyddedd 
Val  callestig  wledd 
O  waith  rex  rexedd** 

'*  If  ye  are  primitive  Bards, 

"  According, to  the  discipline  of  qualified  instructors, 

"  Relate  the  great  secrets 

"  Of  the  world  which  we  inhay t.—  wkm 

"  There  is  a  formidable  animal,  ,,-^ 

"  From  the  city  of  Satan,  iJMi> 

**  Which  has  ,made  an  inroad 
"  Between  the  deep  and  the  shallows. 
"  His  mouth  is  as  wide  ,  . 
<*  As  the  mountain  of  Mynnau : 
<?  Neither  death  can  vanquish  him, 

""  Nor  hand,  nor  swords 

"  There  is  a  load  of  nine  hundi%d  rocks 
"  Between  his  two  paws :       . 
**  There  is  one  eye  in  his  head^ 
"  Vivid  as  the  blue  ice. 

"  Three  fountains  there  are> 

"  In  his  receptacles ; 

"  So  thick  about  him, 

"  And  flowing  through  him/ 

"  Have  been  the  moistening  horna 

"  Of  Deivr  Donm/,  the  giver  of  waters. 

•  W.  A^shaiol.  p.  30. 



"  The  names  of  the  three  fountains,  that  iprifig 
"  From  the  middle  of  the  deep. ~f- 

"  One  is  the  increase  of  salt  water, 
"  When  it  mounts  aloft, 
"  Over  the  fluctuating  seas, 
"  To  replenish  the  streams. 

,<''  The  second  is  that  which,  innftcetttly, 

"  Descends  upon  us, 

"  When  it  rains  without, 

«  Through  the  boundless  atmosphere* 

"  The  third  is  that  which  springs 
"  Through  the  veins  of  the  mountains, 
"  As  a  banquet  from  the  flinty  rock, 
*'  Furnished  by  the  King  of  Kings." 

Though  the  Bard  has  introduced  the  foreign  terms,  Sa^t 
tanas,  Mundi,  and  Rex,  yet  it  is  evident,  that  he  intends 
the  doctrine  contained  in  this  passage,  as  a  select  piece  iof 
Druidical  lore :  hence  he  proposes  the  question,  as  a  touch- 
stone, to  prove  the  qualifications,  of  those  who  professed 
themselves  instructors  in  primitive  Bardism. 

The  Druids,  therefore,  represented  the  visible  world.  Hot 
as  formed  by  the  word  of  a  wise  and  beneficent  Creator, 
but  as  an  enormous  animal,  ascending  out  of  the  abyss, 
and  from  the  abode  of  an  evil  principle.  The  same  subject 
is  touched  upon  in  another  passage,  where  we  discover,  that 
the  British  name  of  this  evil  principle  was  Gwarthawn„ 

Yssid  teir  fynawn 
Ym  mynydd  Fuawn : 


Yssid  Gaer  Gwaithavvn 
A  dan  don  eigiawn,* 

"  There  are  three  fountains 

"  In  the  mountain  of  Fuawn : 

"  The  city  of  Gwarthawn 

"  Is  beneath  the  wave  of  the  deep." 

t  might  have  compared  anothelr  passage  with  the  above, 
had  it  not  been  for  the  want  of  curiosity  in  the  transcribers 
of  our  old  manuscripts.  Mr.  Morris  has  consigned  great 
part  of  an  ancient  poem  to  oblivion,  because  "  it  contained 
"  an  odd  sort  of  philosophy,  about  the  origin  of  salt  water, 
"  rain,  and  springs."  f 

The  absurd  and  monstrous  idea  of  the  formation  of  the 
world,  which  we  have  been  now  considering,  is  certainly 
from  the  very  lowest  school  of  heathenismi  It  is  utterly 
irreconcilable  with  Mr.  Williams's  new  British  Mi/thology, 
and  with  his  story  of  Enigat  the  Great;  though  not  much 
dissimilar  to  the  genuine  doctrine  of  his  chair,  exhibited  at 
the  conclusion  of  his  poetical  works. 

The  reader  may  not  be  displeased  with  a  few  more  Ques- 
tiones  Druidica,  as  proposed  by  the  same  Tahesin.  The 
Bard  has  not,  indeed,  added  the  solutions  of  his  problems, 
but  they  may  serve  to  point  out  the  subjects  of  his  study, 
and  his  ambition  to  be  esteemed  a  general  physiologist. 

In  a  poem,  which  is  called.  Mab^vreu,  or  Elements  of 
Instruction,  he  demands  of  his  disciple —  , 


<*»« —  II  I     ■         I    ■    ■ 

•  W.  Aichaicvl,  p,  32. 
+  Ibid.  p.  47. 


Py  dadwrith  mwg ;, 
Pyd  echenis  mwg  I 

"  What  is  it  which  decomposes  smoke ; 

*'  And  from  what  ekment  does  smoke  arise  ^ 

Py  fynawn  a  ddiwg, 

Uch  argel  tywyllwg. 

Pan  y  w  calav  can  ' 

'Pan  yw  n6s  lloergai?? 

"  What  fountain  is  that,  which  bnrsts  forth, 

"  Over  the  covert  of  darkness/ 

"  When  the  reed  is  white, 

"  And  the  night  is  illuminated  by  the  moon  ?' 

A  wyddosti  beth  wyd 
Pan  vyth  yn  cysgwyd  : 
Ai  corph  ai  enaid, 
Ai  argel  cannwyd  ?] 

"  Knowest  thou  what  thoxi  arty 
"  In  the  hour  of  sleep — 
"  A  mere  body — a  mere  sbul — 
"  Or  a  secret  retreat  of  hght  ?" 

Eilewydd  celvydd, 
Py'r  na'm  dyweid  ?    ■ 
A  wyddosti  cwdd  vydd 
Nos  yn  aros  dydd  ? 
A  wyddpsti  arwydd 
Pet  deilen  y  sydd  ? 

Vj.  drychevis  mynydd 

Cyn  rhewioiaw  elvydd  ? 


1*7  gynneil  magwyif 
Daear  yn  bieswyl. 
Enaid  pwy  gwynawr 
Pwy  gwelas  ev — Pwy  gwyr  ? 

*'  O  skilful  son  of  harmony, 

"  Why  wilt  thou  not  aiiswer  me  ? 

"  Knowest  thou  where  the  night  awaits 

"  For  the  passing  of  the  day  ? 

"  Knowest  thou  the  token  (mark  or  character)- 

"  Of  every  leaf  which  grows  ? 

"  What  is  it  which  heaves  up  the  mountain 

"  Before  the  convulsion  of  elements  ? 

"  Or  what  supports  the  fabric 

"  Of  the  habitable  earth  ? 

"  Who  is  the  illuminator  of  the  soul— 

"  Who  has  seen— who  knows  him  \" 

The  following  seems  to  be  a  reflection  upon  the  teachers 
of  another  system*  ^ 

Rhyveddav  yn  llyvfau 
Na  wyddant  yn  ddiau 
Enaid  pwy  ei  hadnau ; 
Pwy  bryd  ei  haelodau : 
Py  barth  pan  ddinau ; 
Py  wynt  a  py  frau. 

"  I  marvel  that,  in  their  books, 

"  They  know  not,  with  certainty, 

"  What  are  the  properties  of  the  soul : 

*'  Of  what  form  are  its  mfembers : 

"  In  what  part,  and  when,  it  takes  up  its  abode; 

"  By  what  wind,  or  what  stream  it  is  supplied." 
£  2 


In  the  Angar  Cyvyndawdf  of  which  I^  have  inserted  the 
beginning  in  the  Celtic  Researches,  we  haVe  several  ques- 
tions of  the  same  kind  proposed  j  as^ 

"  At  what  time,  and  td  what  extent,  will  land  he  pro- 
"  ductive  ?' — "  What  is  the  extent  and  diameter-  of  the 
"  earth?" — ^Who  is  the  Regulator,  hetween  heaven  and 
"  earth?"  — "  What  byngs  forth  the  clear  gem  (glain) 
"  from  the  working  of  stones  ?" — "  Where  do  the  cuckoos, 
"  which  visit  us  in  the  summer,  retire  during  the  winter  ?" 

"  From  the  deep  I  bring  forth  the  strain' — let  a  river  be 
"  specified — I  know  its  qitalities  when  it  ebbs  or  flows, 
"  swells  or  subsides." 

"  I  know  what  foundations  there  are  beneath  the  sea :  I 
"  mark  their  counterparts,  each  in  its  slopirtg  plane." — > 

"  Who  carried  the  measuring  line  of  the  Lord  of  causes 
"  — what  scale  was  used,  when  the  heavens  wa.e  reared 
"  aloft ;  and  who  supported  the  curtain,  from  the  earth  to 
"  the  skies  ?*' 

Of  these,  and  a  multitude  of  similar  questions,  Taliesin 
professes,  that  he  could  teach  the  true  solution.  In  his 
own  opinion,  therefore,  he  was  as  great  a  physiologist  as 
Divitiacus  Aedmts,  or  any  other  Druid  of  the  hallowed 


"Amongst  the  studies  of  the  Druids,  Caesar  enumerates 
astronomy  and  geography ;  but  the  remaining  works  of  the 
Bards  scarcely  afford  us  an  opportunity  of  judging,  as  to 
their  proficiency  in  these  sciences. 

If  the  poem  called  Canu  y  byd  mawr,  "  The  great  song 
"  of  the  world,"  contains  any  thing  of  Druidism,  we  must 
acknowledge  at  least,  that  it  is  mixed  with  a  large  propor- 
tion of  foreign  msitter. 

The  subject  is  77ian  and  the  universe. — ^The  soul  is  said  to 
be  seated  in  ,the  head  of  man,  who  is  composed  of  seven 
elements.  Fire,  Earth,  Water,  Air,  Vapour,  Blossom  (the 
fructifying  principle),  and  the  wind  of  purposes  (q,  whether 
the  soul  or  the  passions'?)  He  is  endowed  with  seven  senses, 
appetite  and  aversion  being  admitted  into  the  number, — 
Hence,  perhaps,  the  vulgar  phrase,  of .  being  frightened 
out  of  one's  seven  senses.  There  are  seven  skies  or  spheres 
over  the  head  of  the  diviner, 

There  are  three  divisions  of  the  sea,  answering  to  the 
like  number  of  shores. 

Thus  far,  for  aught  I  know,  the  Bard  may  have  drawn 
from  the  source  of  Druidism  s  but  he  proceeds  to  reckon 
up  the  seven  planets,  by  names  which  are  borrowed  or  cor- 
rupted from  the  Latin — Sola,  Luna,  Marca,  Marcarucia^ 
Venus,  Severus,  Saturnus, 

Of  the^t;e  zones  of  the  earth,  two  are  cold,  one  is  hot 
»nd  uniivhabited,  the  fourth  contains  the  inhabitants  of  pam 


radtse,  and  the  fifth  is  the  dwelling-place  of  mortals,  divided 
into  three  parts,  Asia,  Jfrica,  and  Europe.* 

In  the  little  song  of  the  riiorld,  the  Bard  brings  foni^ard  a 
national  system,  differing  from  that  which  was  t^rUght  by 
tlie  Bards  of  the  world,  or  the  instructors  of  other  nations- 
This  little  piece  d^eryes  attention.  It  is  not  mythological, 
but  philosophical,  and  seems,  in  some  respects,  to  corre-? 
spond  with  the  systenj  of  Pythagoras,  who  had  many  ideas 
jn  common  *ith  the  Druids,  and  is  expressly  vecpjrded  to 
bavp  studied  in  the  Gaulish  school, 

Kein  geneis  canav 
Byd  undydd  mwyav ; 
Lliaws  a  bwyllav 
Ac  a  brydej-av, 
Cyvarchav  veirdd  byd— ^ 
Pryd  na'm  dy  weid ! 
Py  gynheil  y  byd 
Na  seirth  yn  eissywyd : 
Neu'r  byd  pei  syrthiej 
Py  S,r  yd  gwyddei  ? 
Pwy  a'i  gogynhaliei  ? 
Byd  mor  y w  advant  I 
Pan  syrth  yn  divant 
Etwa  yn  geugant, 
Byd  mor  yw  rhyved4 
Na  syrth  yn  unwedd, 
Byd  mor  yw  odid 
Mof  yawr  yd  sethrjd, 

'♦  Though  I  have  sung  already,  I  will  sing  of  the  yrtaild 

t  -    -II        I  —  ■   ■  .  ; 

•  W,  Arphaiol.  p.  25. 


*'  one  day  more  :  much  will  I  reason  and  meditate.  I  will 
"  demand  of  the  Bards  of  the  world—why  will  they  not 
"  answei-  me!  What  upholds  the  world,  falls  not, 
*'  destitute  of  support :  or,  if  it  were  to  fall,  which  way 
"  would  it  go  ?  AVho  would  sustain  it  ?  How  great  a  wan- 
"  derer  is  the  world !  Whilst  it  glides  on,  without  resting, 
"  it  is  still  within  its  hollow  orbit.  How  wonderful ,  its 
• "  frame,  that  it  does  not  fall  off  in  one  direction !  How 
"  strange,  that  it  is  not  disturbed  by  the  multitude  of 
"  tramplings!"  ^ 

Some  idle  Rhymer  has  added  to  the  conclusion,  that  the 
four  evangelists  support  the  world,  through  the  grace  of  the 
spirit:  but  Giraldus  Cambrensis  complains,  that  in  his  age 
the  simple  works  of  the  Bards  had  been  disfigured  by  such 
modern  and  ill-placed  flourishes. 

1  have  now  endeavoured  to  catch  a  glimpse  of  our  early 
Bards  as  natural  philosophers,  and  have  shewn,  that  they 
were  not  less  ambitious  of  the  character,  than  their  vene- 
rated preceptors,  the  Druids,  are  recorded  to  have  been. 

Hence  I  proceed  to  contemplate  the  same  Bards,  and 
their  instructors,  in.  a  political  light.  Through  this  maze 
of  inquiry,  the  chair  of  Glamofgan  kindly  offers  its  torch 
of  direction.  One  of  the  leading  maxims  of  its  Druidical 
code,  as  announced  to  the  PuWip,  is  ^  political  principle, 
frequently  touched  upon,  both  by  Mr.  Williams  and  Mr. 
Owen,  but  more  fully  detailed  by  the  latter. 

♦'  Superiority   of  individual  power   is  what  none,  but 


"  God,  can  pdssibly  be  entitled  to ;  for  the  poiver  that" gave 
"  existence  to  all,  is  the  on^jf  power  that  has  a  claim  of 
"  right  to  rule  over  all.  A  man  cannot  assume  authority 
"  over  another ;  for  if  he  may  over  one,  by  the  same  rea- 
"  son  he  may  rule  over  a  million,  or  over  a  world.  All  men 
"  are  necessarily*«qual :  the  four  elements,  in  their  natural 
"  state,  01-  every  thing  nOt  njaijufactured  by  art,  is  the 
"  common  property  of  all."  * 

The  merit  of  the  doctrine  which  is  here  held  forth,  it  is 
not  my  province  duly  to  appreciate.  I  have  nothing  to  do 
with  it,  any  farther  than  as  it  purports  to  be  a  principle 
drawn  from  the  source  of -Druidism,  through  the  channel 
of  the  British  Bards, 

At  the  time  when  this  book  first  appeared,  I  was  not 
absolutely  a  novice  in  the  remaining  accounts  of  the  Druids, 
or  in  the  works  of  the  British  Bards ;  yet  I  must  own,  that 
all  this  was  perfectly  new  to  me.  I  am  now,  upon  farther 
acquaintance  with  the  works  of  our  Cambrian  progenitors, 
fully  convinced,  tha(  they  never  taught  any  such  thing, 

"^i^  I  would  therefore  advise  the  partizans  of  the  oracular 
chair,  jto  reconsider  this  code  of  Jaws,  a;nd  search,  whether 
this  doctrine  is  to  be  found  in  the  first  copy,  which  was 
compiled  in  the  sixteenth  century,  or  only  in  that  copy,  which 
was  revised,  rectified,  and  ratified  during  the  great  rebellion 
in  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth.  And  if  it  be  found  only 
in  the  latter,  I  would  ask,  was  not  Druidism,  as  far  as  this 
goes,  very  popular  amongst  Briton's  and  Saxons  In  the  age 
of  Cromwell  ? — Perhaps  I  wrong  that  age. 

*  Jqtrod.  to  LI.  Heo.  p.  54. 


The  principles  here  announced,  seem  to  go  rather  beyond 
the  levellers  of  the  Tseventeenth  century,  and  to  savour 
strongly  of  a  Druidism  which  originated  in  Gaul,  and  was 
from  thence  transplanted  into  some  corners  of  Britain,  not 
many  ages  before  the  year  1792,  when  the  memorial  of 
JBardism  made  its  appearance.  It  were  well,  if  the  sages 
who  prepared  that  memorial,  would  revise  their  extracts, 
and  recal  any  accidental  inaccuracy,  that  might  otherwise 
mislead  future  antiquaries.  They  must  know,  as  well  as  I 
do,  that  this  is  not  the  Druidism  of  history,  nor  of  the  British 

Let  us  hear  Caesar's  testimony.  The  Druids  of  Gaul, 
with  whom* he  was  intimately  acquainted,  were  supreme 
Judges  in  all  causes,  public  and  private.  Every  thing  bent 
to,  their  decree.  The  sacred  order,  therefore,  possessed  a 
pre-eminence  of  authority  over  the  people,  whom  they  did' 
not  acknowledge  as  their  necessary  equals.  Nor  were  the 
Druids  upon  a  level  amongst  themselves ;  for  we  are  farther 
told — *  "  His  omnibus  Druidibus  preeest  unus,  qui  summann 
*'  inter  eos  habet  auctoritateni."  ' 

Nor  did  they  deem  it  unlawful  for  even  temporal  princes 
to  enjoy  pre-eminence  of  power.  Divitiacus,  an  accredited 
Druid,  complains  of  the  ingratitude  of  his  brother,  Dum- 
norix,  who  had  been  advanced  to  great  authority  by  the 
exertion  of  his  influence.  ^ 

But  as  the  Druids  and  the  princes  were  generally  rela- 
tions, it  may  be  argued,  that  they  connived  at  a  trifling 
dereliction  of  principle  in  their  own  families,  and  contented 

*  "  Over  all  these  Druids,  there  is  one  president,  who  enjoys  supreme  avi* 
^.»'  thoritj  amoiigst  tlisin." 


themselves  with  moulding  the  people  into  a  state  of  perfect 
equality :  which  they  might  have  done,  had  they  been  so 
disposed ;  as  the  whole  community  of  the  nation  was  formed 
under  their  control. 

Here,  then,  if  any  where,  we  may  expect  to  discover 
the  operation  of  the  great  levelling  scheme.  But  here  we 
are  farther  from  the  point  than  ever.-^*/*  Plebes  poene 
"  servorum  habetur  loco^  quc5,  per  se,  nihil  audet,  et  nullb 
"  adhibetur  concilio.  Plerique  cum,  aut  sere  alieno,  aut 
"  magnitudine'  tributorum,  aut  injuriS.  potentium  premnn- 
"  tur,  sese  in  servitutem  dicant  nobilibus.  In  hos  eadem 
"  omnia  sunt  jura,  quae  dominis  in  servos."  f 

When  the  Romans  came  into  Britain,  where  Druidisra. 
had  also  an  establishment,  they  found  the  insular  tribes 
subject  to  their  respective  princes,  who  had  authority,  riot 
only  to  govern  during  their  lives,  but  also  to  bequeatli  their 

It  is  therefore  evident,  that  individual  authority  and  pri- 
vate property  were  countenanced  under  the  auspices  of 
Druidism.  But  was  this  the  case  in  the  times  of  those 
Bards,  who  still  exist  in  4heir  works,  and  to  whom  the 
levelling  system  has  been  imputed?  Let  us  ask  Taliesin, 
"  whose  poems  (according  to  Mr.  Williams)  exhibit  a  com- 
"  plete  system  of  Druidism."  J 

*  "The  common  people  are  regarded  as  nearly  upoTi  a  level  with  slaves. 
"  They  have  uo  power  of  their  own,  and  are  never  admitted  into  the  assemblies 
"  of  the  states.  Many  of  these)  when  oppressed  by  debt,  by  the  weight  of 
"  taxes,  or  by  the  injury  of  the  great,  devote  themselves  to  the  service  of  the 
"  nobles,  who  have,  in  all  respects,  the  same  power  over  them,  which  masters 
*'  have  over  iheir  slaves." 

t  De  Bell.  Gall.  L.  VI.  c.  13, 

}  Pflems,  V.  II.  p.  7. 


This  venerable  Bard  thus  sppaks  of  the  Prince  of 

"  There  is  superior  happiness  for  the  illustrious  in  fame ; 
"  for  the  liberal  in  praise — there  is  superior  glory,  that 
"  Urien  and  his  children  exist,  and  that  he  reigns  mpremef 
"  the  sovereign  Lord."  f 

Butwhy  should  I  select  quotations?  Who,  amongst  the 
ancient  Bards,  was  not  patronized  by  princes,  whom  he 
has  celebrated,  not  less  for  the  grea,tness  of  their  power, 
than  for  the  eminence  of  their  virtues  ?  If  either  historical 
authority,  or  the  testimony  of  the  Bards>  can  have  any 
weight  in  deciding  this  question,  this  cUrjous  dogma  of  the 
pretended  chair  has  nothing  at  all  to  do  with  Druidism  or 
JBardism.  That  it  is  not  even  countenanced  by  the  ancient 
Bards,  must  be  known  to  every  man  who  is  conversant  in 
their  works. 

It  therefore  rests  with  the  advocates  of  this  chair,  to 
inform  us,  whether  it  was  introduced  into  their  code  by  the 
levellers  of  the  seventeenth  century,  or  fabricated  during 
the  late  anarchy  of  France,  as  a  new  engine,  fit  for  imme- 
diate execution, 

I  am  far  from  professing  myself  the  general  advocate  of 
the  Bards,  or  the  Druids  5  I  only  wish  to  exhibit  them  in 
their  true  colours ;  but  I  find  it  impossible  to  write  upon 
this  subject,  without  vindicating  their  character  from  an 
imputation,  as  groundless  as  it  is  infanfous. 

•  W.  Archaiol:  p,  31. 

•i  Mr.  Turner's  Translation.     Vindic.  p.  ISr. 



-  Another  particular  in  the!  traditions  of  the  dictatorial 
chair,  which  does  not  perfectly  correspond  with  the  testi- 
mony of  the  ancients  relative  to  the  Druids,  or  with  the 
sentiments  and  practice  of  the  Bards,  is  that  invisolable 
attachment  to  peace,  which  is  ascribed  to  the  whole  order. ' 

"  It  is  necessary  to  remark  (says  Mr.  Owen),  that  Lly- 
"  warch  was  not  a  member  of  the  regular  arder  of  Bards, 
"  for  the  whole  tenor  of  his  life  militated  againsi  the  lead- 
"  ing  maxims  of  that  system;  the  groundwork  :of  which 
"  was,  universal  peace,  and  perfect  equality.  For  a  Bard 
"  was  not  to  bear  arms,  nor  even  to  espouse  a  cause  by  any 
"  other  active  means;  neither  was  a  naked  weapon  to  be 
"  held  in  his  presence ;  he  being  deemed  the  sacred  cha- 
"  racter  of  a  herald  of  peace.  And  in  any  of  thes6  cases, 
"  where  the  rules  were  transgressed,  whether  by.  his  own 
♦'  will,  6x  by  the  act  of  another,  against  him,  he  was  de- 
"  graded,  and  no  longer  deemed  one  of  the  order."  * 

Here  again  I  suspect,  that  the  president  of  the  chair  has 
not  been  quite  accurate  in  his  notes.  I  do  not  recollect  to 
have  seen  this  doctrine,  in  its  full  extent,  promulgated  by 
any  code,  before  a  certain  period  of  the  'French  Revolu- 
tion, when  the  meek  republicans  of  Gaul,  and  their  modest 
partizans  in  Other  countries,  joined"  the  indefeasible  right 
<f  equality  with  the  inviolable  duty  of  peace,  and  impressed 
them  upon  the  orderly  subjects  of  fevery  state;  whilst 
they  themselves  were  preparing  for  every  species  of  in- 
jury to  civil  society.  But  whenoesoever  this  fallacious  prin- 
ciple took  its  rise,  it  certainly  did  not  belong  to  the  Druids, 
or  to  the  Bards,  without  great  limitation. 

•  Intrpd.  to  LI.  Hpn.  p.  18.    See  sho  p.  25. 


That  the  former  were  friends  of  peace,  arid  seldom  fin* 
gaged  in  war,  is  a  point  which  must  be  admitted.  But 
there  were  occasions,  upon  which  even  the  Druids  deemed 
War  lawful,  and  encouraged  their  disciples  to  contemn 
death,  and  act  braVely  in  the  field*  Caesar  observes,  th^ 
an  immunity  from  military  service,  was  amongst  the  privi-* 
leges  of  the  Druids ;  ?ind  that  it  was  their  general  custom 
to  keep  aloof  from  the  field  of  battle.  But  was  this  custom 
grafted  upon  an  inviolable  principle  ?  Let  us  hear.  Having 
mentioned  the  supreme  authority  of  the  Arch-Druid,  the 
historian  adds  this  information.  *  "  Hoc  mortuo,  si  qui  ex 
"  reliquis  excellit  dignitate,  succedit.  At  si  sint  plures 
"  pares,  suffi-agio  Druidum  adiegitur :  honnunquam  etiiam 
"  armis  de  principdtu  contendutit." 

In  these  cases,  what  becomes  of  their  perfect  equality  ? 
and,  in  the  latter  case,  ofr  their  unconquerable  abhorrence 
of  war?  Was  the  whole  body  of  Druids  degraded,  in  con- 
sequence of  having  espoused  a  cause,  and  that  by  the  sen- 
tence of  the  president,  who  owed  his  elevation  to  the 
number  and  ztal  of  his  party,  and  to  the  length  of  his 
sword  ? 

If  we  turn  our  attention  to  the  British  order,  we  shall 
find  them  in  the  same  predicament  with  their  brethren  in 
Gaul.  The  Druids,  who  opposed  Suetonius  on  the  shores 
of  Mona,  and  terrified  his  soldiers  with  their  direful  im- 
precations, not  only  endured  the  sight  of  naked  weapons, 
but  vigorously  espoused  a  cause;  and  it  was  the  same 
cause  for  which,  as  we  are  told,  the  venerable  Llywarch  is 

*  "  Upon  his  death,  if  any  one  of  the  survivors  excels  the  rest  in  dignity,  he 
"  succeeds  ;  but  if  several  Iiave  equal  pretensions,  the  president  is  chosen  by 
".  the  votes  of  the  Druids.  Sometimes,  however,  the  supreme  dignity  is  d-is* 
"  putcd  by  force  of  armi/' 


to  be  degraded  j  namely,  the  defence  of  the  country  againsf 
Jhreign  invaderst, 

When  we  descend  to  those  British  Bards,  who  professed 
themselves  disciples  of  the  Druids,  we  find  a  caveat  entetdd 
against  the  aged  prince  above  nstmed.  He,  is  not  to  be 
acknowledged  bj  the  order,  because  he  maide  a  noble  stand 
in  defence  of  his  patrimony-  But  what  are  we  to  do  with 
Merddin  and  Aneurirl?  The  former  fought  manfully  in  the 
battle  of  Arderydd,  and  the  latter  saw  a  multitude  of  Mood" 
stained  weapons  in  the  fatal  day  of  Cattraeth^ 

Even  Taliesin,  with  his  "  Complete  System  of  Druidism," 
Was  a  decided  partizan  in  the  cause  of  the  gallant  Urien* 
He  celebrated  his  victories,  and  encouraged  his  military 
ardour.  So  far  was  he  from  abhorring  the  sight  of  a  naked 
sword,  when  he  considered  it  asjnsth/  drawn,  that  he  could 
deliberately  contemplate,  and  minutely  record,  the  circum-^ 
stances  of  the  destftictive  conflict* 

Of  this,  I  shall  produce  a  pretty  convinciiig  proof  in  Mr. 
Owen's  own  translation,  with  which  he  favoured  the  public 
only  two  years  before  the  appearance  of  his  Llywarch  H6n. 

"  I  saw  the  fierce  contending  tumult;  where  wild  de- 
"  struction  raged,  and  swift  flowing  streams  of  blood  ran^ 
♦'  amidst  the  half  surviving  ranks — I  saw  men,  whose  path 
"  was  desolation,  with  their  garments  entangled  with  clot- 
"  ted  gore:  quick  and  furious  were  their  thrusts  in  the 
"  long  maintained  conflict;  the  rear  of  the  battle  had.  no 
"  room  to  fly,  when  the  chief  of  Keged  urged  op  the  pur- 
"  suit.^-I  am  astonished  at  his  daringness,"  &c. 

And  with  what  sentiment  does  the  Bard  conclude  his 


song,  after  having  witnessed  this-  dreadful  spectacle?  He 
recommends  the  pursuit  of  military  glory,  even  to  a  lady, 
and  declares  his  resolution  to  praise  the  magnanimous 
Urien.  ^ 

"  Mayst  thou  pant  for  conflict,  O  Euronwy !  And  till  t 
"  fail  with  age,  and  through  cruel  fate  must  die;  may  I  not 
"  smile  with  joy,  if  I  sing  not  the  praise  of  Urien  J"  * 

If  Cynvelyn's  Incantation  does  not  rather  belong  to 
Aneurin>  the  same  Bard  justifies  the  destruction  of  the  foe; 
nor  does  he  think  hia  hand  polluted,  either  with  the  cup  or 
the  speai-,  that  carries  the  mark  of  slaughter, 

"  Fury,  in  a  torrent,  shall  flow  against  the  Angles.— 
"  Slaughter  is  just!  The  raven's  due  is  our  heaps  of  slain! 
"  Before  the  man  who  is  naturally  endowed  with  song,  - 
"  light  unfolds  the  mystery — and;  hearing  woe>  he  shall 
"  return,  his  glittering  yellow  cup,  besmeared  with  gore, 
"  hiding  the  froth  of  the  yellow  mead.  Satiated  with  en- 
"  terprise,  his  heavy  spear,  with  gold  adorned,  he^  bestowed 
"  on  me.    Be  it  for  a  benefit  to  his  soul !"  f 

Such  is  the  genuine  language  of  the  Bards ;  and,  agi-ee- 
able  to  this  language,  is  the  decision  of  the  learned  and 
candid  historian,  who  has  done  us  the  honour  of  vindicating 
their  cause, 

"  These  Bards  were  warriors.    Their  songs  commemo- 

•  Taliesin's  Battle  of  (rwen^strad.    Gent.  Mag.  Mareb,  1790, 
t  Gent.  Mag.  Nov.  1795.    Mr,  Owen's  translationi 


"  rate  warriors;  and  their  feelings  and  sentiments  are  whefly 
"  martial."* 

But  is  it  true,  that  an  abhorrence  of  weapons,  and  an 
inviolate  attachment  to  peace,  were  established  principles, 
even  in  the  chair  of  Glamorgan  ?  There  are  circumstances 
which  seem  to  imply  the  contrary. 

According  to  Mr.  Owen's  list,  David  ab  Gwil3rm  pre- 
sided in  the  year  1360.  f  In  a  foolish  quarrel  with  Gruf- 
fudd  Gr^g,  this  Bard  challenges  his  adversary  to  decide 
their  dispute  with  the  sword.  Gruffiidd  accepts  the  chal- 
lenge, and  bids  him  defiance.  Then,  indeed,  but  not  tiU 
then,  the  worthy  president  manifests  a  disposition  for 
peace.  J 

If  the  Bards,  according  to  the  code  of  £his  chair,  were 
never  to  espouse  even  a  just  cause,  what  becomes  of  the 
"  Necessary,  but  reluctant  duty  of  the  Bards  of  the  island 
"  of  Britain,  to  unsheath  the  sword  against  the  lawless  and 
"  depredatory  ?"§ 

-Or  how  can  the  chair  reconcile  this  inviolate  principle, 
with  its  own  practice,  of  bringing  the  assault  of  warfare 
against  a  degraded  member,  unsheathing  the  sword,  calling  to 
him  three  times,  and  proclaiming,  that  the  sirord  was  naked 

•  Mr.  Turner's  Vindic.  p.  SOT. 

t  latrod.  to  LI.  H6n.  p.  62, 

I  See  D.  ab  Gwilym'a  Worksi  p.  344,  &c. 

§  This  duty  is  acknowledged  by  the  imtitutimal  Triads  of  that  very  cbait. — 
WiHiams's  Poems,  V,  II,  p,  838. 


against  him? * — Surely  this  manifests  a  disposition  as  hdS- 
tile>  as  can  well  be  tolerated  by  the  present  laws  of  society. 

The  few  observations  upon  the  novel  maxims,  and  die* 
tatorial  tone,  of  the  chair  of  Glamorgan,  which  the  prin- 
ciple of  self-defence  have  extorted  from  me,  may  supply  a 
useful  hint  to  future  inquirers  into  Welsh  Antiquities.  It  is 
not,  however,  my  aim,  to  pass  a  general  censure  upon  the 
traditions  of  that  society.  I  am  willing  to  suppose,  that 
thdy  would  reflect  light  upon  many  subjects  which  are  now 
obscure,  were  they  brought  forward,  unmixed  with  modern 

That  the  particulars  here  selected,  have  neither  support 
nor  countenance  amongst  the  ancient  Bards,  or  their  pre- 
ceptors, the  Druids,  I  have  already  shewn.  It  remains  for 
me  to  inquire,  whether  they  correspond  with  the  personal 
character  and  sentiments  of  Trahaearn  Brydydd  Mawr,  who 
is  announced  as  the  first  president ;  and  consequently,  whe- 
ther it  is  probable,  that  he  established  a  society  upon  such, 

Under  the  name  of  this  bold  and  turbulent  genius,  we 
have  only  two  pieces  preserved :  but  they  are  highly  cha- 
racteristical,  and  furnish  us  with  some  important  anecdotes. 

Trahaearn  appears  to  have  been  a  free  guest  in  the  man- 
sion of  Howel  of  Llan  Dingad,  in  the  Vale  of  Towy,  about 

— "-r 

*  Inttod.  to  LI.  Hto.  p.  51. 

a  hundred  j'ears  after  Wales  had  finally  submitted  to  th« 
English  government.  Howel's  peace  establishment,  as  de- 
$cribed  by  the  muse  of  his  Bard,  was  much  in  the  style  of 
Sir  Patrick  Rackrent;  and,  in  his  heroical  capacity,  he 
made  some  local  efforts  to  assert  the  independence  of  his 
country,  in  an  age  when  such  patriotism  could  be  no  longer 
a  virtue. 

This  gentleman's  Bard  made  a  Christmas  visit  to  Cadwgan, 
vicar  of  i/aw  Gynog,  where,  it  seems,  he  met  with  a 
scanty  and  very  homely  entertainment.  His  resentment 
dictated  a  furious  lampoon  upon  the  vicar,  his  daughter  and 
his  son-in-law ;  in  which  he  declared,  that  "  if  the  house 
"  were  burnt  upon  the  eve  of  the  new  year,  it  would  be  a 
"  good  riddance ;  and  any  shabby  wretch  might  perform  a 
"  meritorious  act,  by  killing  the  alien  son-in-law  with  the 
"  sword." 

Snch  an  outrage  might  have  been  treated  with  merited 
contempt,  had  not  the  vicar's  house  been  actually  burnt, 
and  his  son-in-law  killed  upon  that  very  new-year's  eve. 

This,  I  presume,  was  the  notorious  circumstance  which 
marked  the  lera  of  our  Bard  in  the  year  1380,  Whether 
Trahaearn  himself  was,  or  was  not,  personally  engaged  in 
this  atrocious  act,  does  not  appear :  but  his  efforts  to  clear 
himself  in  the  subsequent  poem,  prove,  at  least,  the  exist- 
ence of  suspicion* 

In  just  abhorrence  of  his  conduct,  the  incendiary  and 
assassin  was  disowned  by  the  family  of  Llan  Dingad,  an^ 
became  a  necessitous  wandterer  for  a  long  period.  During 
this  season  of  disgrace,  if  ever,  he  presided  in  the  chair  of 

Iti  the  following  poeitij  We  find  him  labouriilg  to  effect 
a  recc>nciliation  with  the  grcendsoris  of  his  patron ;  but  with 
what  success,  is  unknown  at  present.  The  reader  will  par- 
don my  giving  a  translation  of  the  whole  piec6,  as  it  con- 
stitutes no  unfavdurable  specimen  of  the  Bardism  of  the 
fourteenth  century. 

Sung,  by  Trahuearri  the  grekt  poet,  in  ptaise  of  Howeil 
of  Llan  Biflgad,  in  the  Vale  of  Towy,  1350.* 

A  dauntless  leader  in  the  conflict,  the  vSty  energy  of 
heroism,  was  the  valiant  Howel ;'  eminently  severe  in  the 
Work  of  violence ;  proud ,  and  bright  as  a  dragon,  directing 
the  death  of  the  foe :  arid  this  dragon,  I  know,  will  be 
illustrious  in  the  memorials  of  his  country. 

A  dismal  Cattlage  was  seen  amongst  the  people,  wheii  the 
daring  hawk  gave  battle.  In  equal  pace  rushed  the  cata-i 
racts  of  blood,  and  the  incessant  spears,  during  the  shocks 
Woe's  my  heart,  that  I  remained  silent  for  a  single  night ! 

Wider  and  Wilder  did  the  groans  of  nature  extend,  wheit 

*  W.  Archaioi.  p.  499.  The  editors  have  prohahly  inserted  1350,  by  way 
of  accpmmodatiott  with  tire  chronology  of  the  cftair.  The  only  copy  to  which 
they  refer,  as  their  original,  has  the  date  1380,  lyhich  came  ftom  the  authority 
of  Dr.  pavies  of  Mallwyd,  andis  the  same  vrtiich  is  given  by  Ed.  Llwyd,  in 
his  Archceologia. 

f  The  places  mentioned  in  this  poem,  are  iti  the  neighbourhood  of'  Ltando- 
very,  iioradircgad  is  the  parish. in  Which  that  town  is  situated:  The  manor  of 
ifirOTj/n  comprehends  part  of  that  parish.  Gaew,  or  CynvU  Gaio,  is  at  the  dis* 
tance  of  about  ten  miles,  on  the  Ltanbedr  road ;  and  Myddvai,  which  joins  the 
parish  of  Uanditigad,  was  famous  for  its  succession  of  pllysiciansj  in  the  f^ily 
of  Hhiwallawn,  from  the  13th  to  the  18th  century. 


the  vessel  of  racking  poison  poured  the  pangs  of  destiny;^* 
whilst  he  was  encouraging  his  host  to  protect  the  vale  of 
Towy,  a  place  which  is  now  desolate,  without  a  chief.  To 
be  silent  henceforth,  is  not  the  act  of  manhood. 

For  the  Lion,  of  shivered  spears ;  for  the  shield  of  bra- 
very, there  is  now  crying  and  lamentation,  because  our 
hope  is  removed — the  chief  with  the  huge  clarions,  whose 
whelming  course  was  like  the  raging  sea.  The  afflicted 
host  of  Lloegr  f  did  he  consume  in  his  descent,  Jike  the 
tumultuous  flame  in  the  mountain  heath.  J 


Though  fierce  in  his  valour,  like  Lleon,  with  a  violent, 
irresistible  assault,  he  vaulted  into  battle,  to  plunder  the 
King  of  Bernicia;§  yet  the  hero  of  the  race  of  Twedor, 
the  ravager  of  thrice  seven  dominions,  was  a  placid  and 
liberal-handed  chief,  when  he  entertained  the  Bards  at  his 
magnificent  table. 


With  the  rage  of  Ocean,  he  raised  aloft  the>  shield  of 
the  three  provinces.  His  hand  was  upon  the  sword,  spotted 
with  crimson,  and  the  scabbard  adorned  with  gold.  Then 
had  the  severe  Lion  uninterrupted  success,  in  the  deadly 
battle  of  Caew :  the  area  was  filled  with  terror,  and  the 

*  It  appears  hy  this  passage,  that  poisoa  had  been  administered  to  the  trat- 
rior,  just  as  he  was  going  to  battle. 

+  England. 

i  It  is  the  custom  in  many  parts  of  Wales,  to  bum  the  heath»  upon  the 
mountains,  in  order  to  clear  the  turf,  which  is  paiied  off,  for  fuel. 

§  Some  nobleman,  who  took  his  title  from  a  place  in  the  North,  oi  withia  tlie 
£mits  of  ancient  Bemicia. 


buildings  reduced  to  ashes,  as  with  the  wrath  of  Lhjr  Lh' 
diaith,  and  the  conduct  of  Cat.* 

But  the  drugs  of  Myddvai  caused  the  mead  banquets  to 
cease  within  those  gates,  where  energy  was  cherished  by 
the  assiduous  friend  of  Genius,  the  ruler  of  battle,  the 
benefactor  of  strangers,  in  his  ever-open  hall — so  that  now 
he  lives  no  more— the  leader  of  spearmen,  of  illustrious 
race,  the  arbiter  of  all  the  South. 

A  thousand  strains  of  praise  are  preparing,  as  a  viaticum, 
for  this  gem  of  heroes,  this  mighty  eagle,  by  my  golden 
muse :  a  prudent,  a  fortunate,  an  irresistible  chief  was  he, 
in  the  tumults  of  his  principality :  his  spear  dispossessed 
the  aliens ;  for  he  was  the  foe  of  slavery.        ' 


To  him  be  awarded,  by  the  righteous  Judge,  the  patri- 
mony of  paradise,  in  the  land  of  the  blessed— a  portion 
which  has  been  prepared  (and  the  only  portion  which  vio- 
lence cannot  remove)  by  the  favour  of  him,  who  presides 
over  the  pure,  and  the  perfect  in  faith  • 

And  may  the  God  who  beholds  secrets,  the  supreme 
supporter  of  princes,  and  the  all-knowing  Son  of  Mary, 
cause,  by  his  pure,  good;  will,  by  the  visible  and  speedy 
endowment  of  his  sincere  favour,  that  Howel's  chief  Bard, 
after  his  being  long  disowned, 

*  Herges  «f  ancient  fable,  who  vill  be  mentioned  again  in  the  course  of  this 




May  remain  with  his  generous  grandsons,  the  objects  of 
the  wanderer's  vows !  Though  dreadful  in  battle,  was  the 
blade  of  Einion  the  judge  ?  yet  was  he  a  goldeji  president 
in  his  district,  an  entertainer  of  the  Muses,  ija  the  great 
sanctuary  of  the  children  pf  panegyric — the  supporter  of 

I  will  not  dissemble.  As  it  is  my  privilege  to  judge,  I 
will  declare  my  sentiment,  that  no  wayward  lampoon  shall 
sport  with  the  great  renown  of  the  hero ;  and,  that  I  shall 
not  be  found  in  the  company,  or  in  thefoiin  of  an  outlaw,  or 
mthout  a  pledge  of  inviolable  faith  towards  the  clergy. 


I  am  blameless,  and  entitled  to  the  peace  of  the  plough, 
the  general  and  free  boon  of  the  warrior,  according  to  the 
established  and  sincere  decree  of  the  great,  unerring  Fa-i 
ther,  the  love-difFusing  Lord,  the  supreme  dispenser  of 

I  will  relate  (and  the  tribute  of  love  will  I  send  forth)  a 
golden  tale,  a  canon  of  the  natural  deliiieation  of  the  muse 
for  my  tribe :  and  this  with  joy  wiU  I  do;  to  prevent  the 
colouring  of  falsehood,  till  the  spring  ef  my  genius  be 
gone^  with  the  messenger  that  calls  me  hence. 


For  want  of  the  discretion  to  compose  good  words,  I 
have  Ipst  the  incessant  invitation  to  the  cauldrons,  and  the 
IRwnificent  banquets  pf  the  laad  of  elpquenpe,  and  genefous 


horns  of  delicious  liquor,  amongst  the  mighty  pillaris  of 
battle,  whose  hands  brandish  the  glittering  sword. 

Wretched  is  he,  whose  lot  it  has  been  to  lose  the  mead 
and  the  wine,  that  flow  to  the  frequenters  of  those  halls j 
which  are  liberal  to  every  claimant ;  and  the  frank  invita- 
tions, and  the  presents)  of  those  Dragon  chiefs,  who  pour 
forth  thy  precious  showers,  O  vale  of  Towy ! 

Every  night  is  my  grief  renewed  with  the  thought,  that 
by  the  violence  of  one  rash  transgression,  I  have  forfeited  the 
valuable  prvDilege,  and  lost  the  protecting  power  of  the  sup- 
porter of  the  splendid  host,  the  hero,  of  the  seed  of  Mer-^ 
vin. — Of  his  sparkling  wine,  and  his  scarlet,  I  partake  no 
more ! 

Yet  still,  with  due  and  lasting  praise,  shall  be  celebrated 
the  munificent  shower  of  the  hawks  of  Hirvrytiy  the  last 
of  that,  warlike  race,  which  derives  its  blood  from  the  line 
of  the  slaughterer ;  and  my  eagle,  the  leader  of  the  em- 
battled spearmen,  of  the  district  of  Dingad. 

He  who  peruses  this  poem,  must  be  immediatelj'  con- 
vinced, that  the  feehngs  and  sentiments  of  Trahaearn  are 
utterly  irreconcileable  with  the  principles,  which  he  is  re- 
presented as  having  taught.  The  Bard  is  neither  shocked 
at  the  exertion  of  military  spirit,  nor  backward  in  espousing 
the  canse  of  his  coiihtry  and  his  patron,  as  well  as  of  his 
own  appetite.  And  here  is  not  a  syllable  that  countenances 
the  doctrine  of  perfect  equality i 

As  I  shall  have  occasion  to  mention  the  noctv.rnal  mysf' 
teries  of  the  Bards,  I  must  just  take  notice  of  another 
dogma  of  the  boasted  chair,  which  asserts,,  that  the  Bards 
did  every  thing  in  the  eye  of  the  light,  and  in  the  face  of  the 
sun ;  and,  that  none  qf  their  meetings  could  be  holden,  but 
in  a  conspicuous  placBj  whilst  the  sun  was  above  the  horizon.* 

As  this  unqualified  publicity  is  referred  to  the  principles 
and  practice  of  the  Pruids,  it  must  stagger  the  confidence 
of  those  who  have  been  accustomed  to  contemplate  the 
awfiil  secrets  of  the  grove,  and.  the  veil  of  mystery  which 
was  thrown  over  the  whole  institution. 

The  annual,  or  quarterly  sessions  of  the  Druids,  where 
they  sat,  f  zw  loco  consecrata,  to  hear  and  decide  causes, 
may  have  been  held  in  a  conspicuous- T^a/ce,  and  by  day; 
and  thus  much  may  be  inferred^  from  their  mounts  of  as- 
sembly; but  what  regarded  their  internal  discipline,  and  the 
mysteries  of  their  veligion,  was  cei^tainly  conducted  with 
greater  privacy, 

"  J  Decent  multa,  nobilissimos  gentis,"  says  P.  Mela, 
*'%clam,  et  diu,  vicenis  annis,  iii  specu,  aut  in  abditis 
"  saltibus.\\  And  their  effectual  regard  to  secrecy,  is  foi?- 
cibly  pointed  out,  by  what  the  author  immediately  adds 

•  See  Owen's  Introd.  to  U.  H€n.  p.  $7,  48.    Also.  Williains's  Poems,  V.  II. 
p,  39,  note,  and  p.  216. 

f  In  4  consecrated  plE|ce. 

J  "  They  give  lesions  upon  a  voriety  of  subjects,  to  the  first  nobility  of  the 
«  nation," 

§  <•  These  lessons  are  private,  and  continued  for  a  long  time— for  the  'spaqe 
«  of  twenty  years,  in  a  cave,  or  amongst  inaccessible  forests." 

II  Lib.  m.  Q.  8. 


— .«*Ujjum  ex  iis,  quae  prseoipiunt,  in  vulgus  effluxit."-^ 
The  attentive  ear  of  curiosity-  had  been  able  to  catch  but 
ene  of  their  institutional  Triads. 

Caesar  also  mentions  the  solicitude  of  the  Druids,  lest 
th6ir  discipline  should  be  exposed  to  public  view :  and  their 
religious  meetings,  though  covered  by  the  inaccessible 
grove,  were  holden  in  the  night,  as  well  as  at  noon, 

"  +  Medio  cum  Phoebus  in  axe  est, 
Aut  Goelum  nox  atra  tenet."  + 


With  all  this,  the  celebration  of  the  nightly  mysteries, 
described  in  the  chair  of  Tdliedn,  his.  Ogoj;  Gorddewin, 
Cave,  or  Specus  of  the  Arch-Diviner,  the  torches  of  Cerid' 
wen,  which  flamed  at  midnight,  and  at  the  damn,  together 
with  Merddin's  concealment  injthe  Caledonian  forest,  per- 
fectly accord. 

I  shall  close  my  preliminary  section,  when  I  have  brought 
the  Bards  into  one  more  point  of  comparison  with  thejr 
venerable  instructors,  the  Druids, 

This  ancient  order  of  men  does  not  recommend  -itseir  to 
our  notice,  merely  as  teachers,  of  a  false  philosophy,  or 
presidents  of  a  gloomy  superstition, 

•  One  of  the  maxims  which  they  teacl|,  has  found  its  way  to  the  Public. 

+  "  When  the  sun  is  in  th( 
covers  the  sky," 

}  Lucan.  Fhaml  Ub.  III. 

+  "  When  the  sun  is  in  the  middle  pf  his  co«r»e,  of  When  the  dar^^ight 
*  covers  the  sky," 


"  The  Druids  were  remarkable  for  justice,  moral  and 
*'  religious  doctrines,  and  skill  in  the  laws  of  their  country : 
*'  for  which  reason,  all  disputes  were  referred  to  their  arbi-s 
"  tration :  and  their  decision,  whether  relating'  to  private 
*'  and  domestic,  or  public  and  civil  affairs,  was  final."  * 

^  Mela,  speaking  of  the  three  nations,  of  Gallia  GoiData, 
says — "  "j-  Habent  facundiam  suamj  magistrosque  sapientisii 
«  Druidas."J 

Sotion,  in  Libro  successibnum,  confirmat^  Druidas,  di- 
v'mif  humanique  Juris,  peritimmos  fuisse.^ 

The  learned  Mr.  Whitaker  regards  the  three  first  books 
of,  the  Lazes  of  Howel,  as  comprising  the  Laws  of  the  j4n- 
dent  Britons.  And  the  Manksmen  ascribe  to  the  Dniids, 
those  excellent  laws,  by  which  the  Isle  of  Man  has  always, 
been  governed.  II 

Whether  these  decisions  be  allowed  in  a  full,  or  only  in 
a  qualified  sense,  they  seem  utterly  incompatible  with  the 
doctrine  of  that  chair,  which  admits  of  a  contimial  lapse  in 
religious  principles,  the  only  real  foundation  of  laws  and 
of  morals ;  which  disallows  the  existence  of  human  authority, 
and  insists  upon  an  equality  so  absolute,  as  to  precluile  all 
just  subordination,  and  established  order  in  society. 

•  Borlase,  B.  II.  ch.  13,  from  Strabo,  Lib.  IV.  ^ 

t  "  They  have  an  eloquence  of  their  own,  and  theit  Druids  as  teachete  o( 
♦•  wiadom." 

t  Lib.  III.  c.  3. 

$  Lei.  de  Script.  Brit.  p.  5, 

U  See  Carte's  Hist.  p.  46. 


That  admirable  Triad,  recorded  by  Diogenes  Laertius, 
as  a  leading  principle  of  the  Druids,  is  of  a  complexion 
very  different  from  this.  It  recommends  piett/  towards  the 
Dejty,  innocence  in  our  intercourse  with  mankind,  and  the 
exercise  of  fortitude  in  the  personal  character :  and  hence  it 
prepares  us  to  look  for  something  of  value  in  their  moral 

And  as  the  Bards  profess  to  have  drawn  all  their  doctrines 
ffom  the  Druidical  fountain,  I  think,  there  is  no  subject 
which  ascertains  the  authenticity  of  their  pretensions  bet-i 
ter,  than  that  of  moral  instruction,  and  the  study  of  human 
nature.  Their  lessons  of  this  kind,  however,  are  generally 
comprised  in  short  and  pithy  aphorisms. 

Amongst  the  most  curious  remains  of  the  old  Bards,  we 
may  class  those  metrical  sentences,  called  tribanau,  or  trip-' 
lets.  Each  of  these  is  divided  into  three  short  verses, 
which  are  again  united  by  the  final  rhymes, 

The  most  singular  feature  qf  these  versicles  is,  that  tha 
sense  of  the  two  first  verses  has  no  obvious  connection  with 
that  of  the  last.  The  first  line  contains  some  trivial  re- 
mark, suggested  by  the  state  of  the  air,  the  season  of  the 
year,  the  accidental  meeting  of  some  animal,  or  the  like. 
To  this  is  frequently  subjoined,  something  that  savours 
more  of  reflection ;  then  the  third  line  comes  home  to  the 
heart,  with  a  weighty  moral  precept,  or  a  pertinent  remark 
upon  men  and  manners.  My  meaning  will  be  best  e:^'' 
Blaiijed  by  a  few  examples. 

Eiry  mynydd — gwangcus  laj- 
Gochwiban  gwynt  ay  dalar — 
Yn  yr  ing  gorau  yw'r  C^- 


"  Snow  of  the  moutitain !  the  bird  is  ravenous  for  food — 
"  Keen  whistles  the  blast  on  the  headland — In  distress,  the 
*'  friend  is  most  valuable !" 


Glaw  allan,  yngan  clydwr — 
Melyn  eithin !  crin  evwr ! — 
Duw  Rheen,  py  beraist  lyvwr !, 

"  It  rains  without,  and  here  is  a  shelter-^What !  the 
"  yellow  furze,  or  the  rotten  hedge!  Creating  Godf  why 
"  hast  thou  formed  the  slothful !" 

Y  ddeilen  a  drevyd  Gwynt*— 

Gwae  hi  o'i  thynged; — 

Hgn  hi!  eleni  y  ganed  ! 

"  The  leaf  is  tossed  about  by  the  wind — 

"  Alas,  how  wretched  is  fate  !— 

"  It  is  old!  But,  this  year  was  it  bom !" 

I  seem  already  to  perceive  a  smile  upon  the  countenance 
of  the  critical  reader.  The  force  of  the  concluding  maxim, 
or  the  depth  of  reflection,  and  accuracy  of  remark,  which 
it  evinces,  will  hardly  protect  our  Druidical  lectures  from 
the  charge  of  puerile  conceit.  I  do  not  bring  forward  our 
British  Doctors  as  men  of  the  highest  polish,  or  most  accu- 
rate taste.  But  let  us  consider,  if  any  thing  can  be  said 
in  their  defence. 

Some  praise  must  be  due  to  the  ingenuity  of  a  devifee, 
which  was  calculg,ted,    through  the   rudeness  of  ancient 

•  The  true  teading  seems  to  be — 

y  ddeHcti'gWi/nt  «.'i  threved. 


British  society,  to  lead  the  mind,  imperceptibly,  from  it 
trivial  remark  upon  the  screaming  of  hungry  birds,  the 
state  of  the  weather,  or  a  dry  leaf  tossed  about  by  the 
wind,  to  the  contemplation  of  moral  truth,  or  to  pertinent 
reflection  upon  the  state  of  man.  And  these  triplets,  which 
the  people  learned  by  rote,  were  peculiarly  adapted  to  pro- 
duce such  a  salutary  effect. 

For  the  introductory  objects  of  remark,  being  of  the 
most  familiar  kind,  were  daily  before  their  eyes :  and  their 
very  occurrence  would  naturally  suggest  those  maxims  and 
reflections,  which  the  memory  had  already  connected  with 
them.  A  nation  wholly  unrefined,  and  which,  at  best,  had 
but  a  scanty  supply  of '  books,  arid  those  in  few  hands, 
must  have  found  the  beniefit  of  this  mode  of  instruction. 
Whatever  page  of  nature  was  presented  to  their  view,  their 
teachers  had  contrived  to  make  it  a  page  of  wisdom. 

Let  us  apply  this  observation  to  the  examples  which  I 
have  given.  The  appearance  of  snow  upon  the  hills,  or  of 
hungry  and  screaming  birds,  suggests  the  remark — r"  There 
*'  is  snow  upon  the  mountain  ;  the  bird  screams  for  food." 
With  this,  the  memory  connects  the  second  clause,  de- 
scribing a  cold  and  dreary  season,  in  which  wjam,  as  well  as 
the  wild  fowl,  probably  felt  distress.  "Keen  whistles  the 
"  blast  on  the  headland."  Then  the  third  clause,  drawn 
by  the  chain  of  memory,  comes  home  to  the  bosom,  and 
excites  a  feeling  suitable  to  such  a  season.  "  In  distress, 
*'  the  friend  is  most  valuable."  As  if  his  heart  had  com-* 
manded  him — "  Now  go,  and  perform  the  most  sacred  of 
"  social  duties — ^relieve  thy  distressed  friend/' 

So,  in  the  second  triplet,  a  man  vflffo  has  neglected  hi& 
duty  or  his  business,  to  indulge  an  indolent  habit,  is  re- 


minded,  by  a  sprinklitog  showei*,  &f  the  trivial  remark— 
"  It  rains  without,  but  here  is  a  shelter."  He  then  recol- 
lects— "  What,  the  yellow  furze,  or  the  rotten  hedge !" 
And  is  ashamed  of  his  indolence.  This  feeling  is  imme-^ 
diately  strengthened  by  the  emphatieal  reflection—"  Gre- 
"  ating  God!  why  hast  thou  formed  the  slothful !" 

The  emblem  of  the  shortness  and  frailty  of  human  life, 
in  the  third  examj)le,  is  soifliciently  obvious. 

I  shall  subjoin  a  few  more  translated  specimais  of  Celtic 

"  It  is  the  eve  of  winter — social  converse  is  pleasant-^ 
"  The  gale  and  the  storm  keep  equal  pace — To  preserve  a 
"  secret,  is  the  part  of  the  skilful  (Celvydd)." 

"  It  is  the  eve  of  winter.  The  stags  are  lean — the  tops 
"  of  the  birch  are  yellow:  deserted  is  the  summer  dwelling 
"  — Woe  to  him  who,  for  a  ta:ifling  advantage,  merits 
"  disgrace." 

"  Though  it  be  small,  yet  ingenious  is  the  bird's  fabric 
*'  in  the  skirt  of  the  wood — The  viituous  and  the  happy 
*'  are  of  equal  age." 

"  Chill  and  wet  is  the  mountain— *Cold.  is  the  grey  ice — 
"  Trust  in  God;  he  will  not  deceive  thee;  nor  wiU  perse- 
"  veriog  patience  leave  thee  long  in  affliction." 

"  It  rains  without ;  the  brake  is  drenched  with  the  shower 
•'  -—The  sand  of  the  sea  is  white  with  its  crown  of  foam,'— 
*'  Patience  is  the  fairest  light  for  man." 


*'  Snow  of  the  mountain!  bare  is  the  top  of  the  reed— 
*••  The  man  of  discretion  Cannot  assodiate  with  the  silly-^- 
"  Where  nothing  has  been  learned,  there  can  be  no  ge- 

*'  Snow  of  the  mountain!  the  fish  are  in  the  shallow 
"  stream — The  lean,  crouching  stag  seeks  the  shady  glen— 
"  God  will  prosper  the  industry  of  man." 

"  Snow  of  the  mountain !  the  birds  are  tame— The  dis- 
"  erectly  happy  needs  only  to  be  born — God  himself  cannot 
"  procure  gopd  for  the  wickied." 

Though  it  be  admitted, .  that  this  metSbd  of  teaching 
moral  wisdom,  was  continued  by  the  Britons  for  some  time 
after  the  introduction  of  Christianity,  yet  I  tliink,  for 
several  reasons,  that  this  singular  mode  of  classing  the 
ideas,  was  derived  from  the  school  of  the  Druids;  and 
that  several  of  the  triplets,  still  extant,  have  descended 
from  their  times. 

The  sentences  are  divided  into  three  members  each;  and 
three  was  a  sacred  and  mystical  numbea:  amongst  the 

The  metre  is  also  the  most  ancient,  of  which  the  Welsh 
have  any  tradition.  And  it  does  not  appear  from  history, 
that  the  Britons  could  have  borrowed  the  model  of  sucl* 
composition  from  any  nation  with  which  they  were  con- 
nected, since  the  period  of  the  Roman  conquest. 

The  plan  of  these  triplets  has  that  mixture  of  rude  sim- 
plicity, and  accurate  observation,  which  histpry  ascribes  tQ 


tlie  Druids.     Here,  the  barbaric  muse  appears  in  hef  tustiC 
dress,  without  a  single  ornament  of  cultivated  taste. 

This  sententious  way  of  writing  h&i,  for  many  c6nturies^ 
become  obsolete  amongst  the  Welsh.  J^^othing  of  this  cha- 
racter is  found  in  those  Bards  who  have  written  since  the 
Norman  conquest.  Even  the  metre  has  scarcely  been  used 
since  the  time  of  Llywarch  H§n,  in  the  sixth  century^ 
Taliesin  and  Aneurin  seem  to  have  rejected  it  as  antiquated, 
and  too  simple  and  unadorned. 

The  introduction  of  this  Style  of  philosophizing,  was 
certainly  long  before  the  time  of  any  known  Bard,  whose 
works  are  now  extant.  For  in. our  oldest  poems,  we  find 
several  of  these  maxims  detached  from  their  connection, 
and  used  as  common-place  aphorisms.  And  moreover,  the 
very  same  aphorisms,  as  being  now  public  property,  are 
employed,  without  scruple,  by  several  contemporary  Bards, 
tliough  the  simple  form  of  the  triplet  had  been  generally 
laid  aside. 

Beside  the  triplets  here  described,  there  are  certain  moral 
stanzas,  of  six  or  eight  lines  each,  consisting  of  detached 
sentences,  connected  only  by  the  final  rhymes,  and  each 
stanza  beginning  with  Eiry  Mynydd,  Snow  of  the  Moun- 
tain. These  seem  to  be  nothing  more  than  metrical  arrange- 
ments of  aphorisms,  taken  from  ancient  triplets.  The  two 
first  are  as  follows  :  * 

"  Snow  of  the  mountain!    troubksome  is  the  world  I 

•  Twelve  of  these  are  ascribed  to  Mervinduawdrydd,  whose  age  is  unknown, 
unless  it  be  a  corrupt  reading  for  Anturin  Cwawdr'ydd}  and  niueteen  beat  tlw 
name  of  n  son  of  Llywarch  Ilea. 


'*  No  man  can  foretd  the  accidents  to  which  wealth  is  ex- 
"  posed.  Anogance  will  not  arrive  at  a  state  of  security. 
"  Prosperity  often  comes  after  adversity.  Nothing  endures 
"  hut  for  a  season.  To  deceive  the  innocent,  is  utterly  dis- 
"  graceful.  No  man  will  ever  thrive  by  vice.  OifGod 
"  alone  let  us  place  our  dependence." 

"  Snow  of  the  mountain!  white  it  the  horn  of  smoke, 
"  The  thief  is  in,  love  with  darkness.  Happy  is  the  man 
"  who  has  done  no  evil.  The  frowafd  is  easily  allured  to 
"  do  mischief.  No  good  befals  the  lascivious  person.  An 
"  old  grudge  often  ends  in  a  massacre.  A  fault  is  most 
"  conspicuous  in  a  prince.  Give  less  heed  to  the  ear,  than 
"  to  the  eye." 

The  following  are  amongst  the  aphorisms  of  the  other 

"  A  noble  descent  is  the  most  desolate  of  widows,  unless 
-"  it  be  wedded  to  some  eminent  virtue." 

"  In  contending  with  direful  events,  great  is  the  resource 
"  of  human  reason." 

"  The  most  painful  of  diseases,  is  that  of  the  heart." 

"  The  leader  of  the  populace  is  seldom  long  in  office." 

"  For  the  ambitious,  the  limits  of  a  kingdom  are  too 
"  narrow." 

"  The  blessing  of  competency  is*  not  inferior  to  that  of 
"  abundance." 


"  When  the  hour  of  extravagance  is  spent,  that  of  iridi- 
"  gence  succeeds." 

"  Many  are  th6  ifriends  of  the  golden  tongue." 

"  Beware  of  treating  any  thing  with  coritempt." 

"  Obstruct  not  the  prospect  of  futurity,  tb  provide  for 
*'  the  present." 

"  Pride  is  unseemly  in  a  ruler." 

"  The  virgin's  best  robe  is  her  modesty ;  but  confidence 
"  is  graceful  in  a  man." 

"  Freely  acknowledge  the  excellence  of  thy  betters." 

"  A  useful  calling  is  more  valuable  than  a  treasure." 

"  Like  a  ship  in  the  midst  of  the  sea,  without  rope,  o* 
"  sail  or  anchor,  is  the  young  maiji  who  despises  advice." 

The  stanzas  of  the  months,  ascribed  to  Aneurin^  are  en- 
titled to  some  notice,  as  containing  a  singular  mixture  of 
moral  and  physical  remarks.    Thus,  for  example. 


In  the  month  of  April,  thin  is  the  air  upon  the  heights. 
The  oxen  are  weary.  Bare  is  the  surface  of  the  ground. 
"  The  guest  is  entertained,  though  he  be  not  invited.  The 
"  stag  looks  dejected.  Playful  is  the  hare.  Many  are 
*'  the  faults  of  him  who  is  not  beloved,*  Idleness  is  uri- 
"  worthy  of  the  healthy.    Shame  has  no  place  on  the  cheek 

*  Or,  Wh»  hm  jjo  friend. 


"  o(  the  upright.    Desolation  awaits  the  phiJdren  of  the 
*'  unjust.    After  arrogance,  comes  a  long  abasement." 

"The  Viaticum  of  Llevoed,  a  Bard  of  the  tenth  jceiitury, 
is  the  most  modern  production  of  any  known  author  in  this 
aphoristical  style.    I  give  the  foUdwing  specimens. 

"  Wealth  of  the  world !  let  it  go ;  let  it  come !  Be  it 
"  disposed  of  as  it  may,  A  state  of  anxiety  is  upon  a  level 
"  with  real  penury.     Serenity  wiU  succeed,  when  the  rain 

"  Amongst  the  children  of  the  same  nursery,  equality  is 
"  seldom  found:  the  brave  will  play,  whilst  his  blood  is 
*'  flowing  about  him:  the  submissive  will  be  trampled 
*'  upon :  the  fierce  will  be  avoided :  the  discreet  is  in  co- 
"  venant  with  prosperity;  to  him,  God  pours  forth  his 
"  bounty." 

*'  Confidence  in  noble  blood,  is  like  the  billow  that  meets 
"  the  shore:  whilst  we  are  calling  out — Lo  there!'  it  has 
"  already  subsided," 

"  Incurious  is  the  man  who  observes  not— Tfho,  though 
•'  he  regard  it  unmoved,  does  not  consider  what  may  hap^ 
"  pen  hereafter." 

♦'  Woe  to  the  land  where  there  is  no  religion !" 

"  The  man  who  disbelieves  a  God,  is  incapable  of  reason." 

"  The  mart  ■vyho  breaks  the  unity  of  society,  is  the  bier 
"  mish  of  the  assembly,  the  aifliction  of  the  woi^b  that 
"  bare  him;  the  detestation  of  the  country." 

G  3 


"  Even  in  an  act  of  profusion,  have  regard  to  economy." 

"  A  profession  is  calculated  for  society ;  a  -treasure-bag 
"  for  banishment." 

"  The  founding  of  a  city,  is  the  ruin  of  a  desert." 

A  complete  collection  of  the  adages  and  moral  maxims, 
preserved  in  the  Welsh  language,  would  fill  a  considerable 
volume.  Hence  it  appears,  that  the  application  of  the 
Bards  to  moral  science,  as  well  as  the  other  pursuits  of  their 
genius,  justifies  their  pretensions  to  the  lore  of  the  ancient 


SECTION   11. 


General  View  of  Druidical  Theology — Character  and  Rites 
of  Hv,  the  Helio-Arkite  God — the  Bacchus  of  the  heathen 

JL  N  the  introductory  section  of  this  Essay,  I  have  brought 
home  the  profession  of  Druidism  to  the  ancient  Welsh 
Bards;  and,  by  a  collation  of  several  of  the  topics  upon 
which  they  expiate,  with  classical  authorities,  have  proved 
the  justice  of  their  claim  to  that  character  which  they  as- 
sume. I  have  also  shewn,  that  the  mythological  Triads  are 
founded  in  genuine  Biitish  tradition ;  and  that  the  notices 
which  these  documents  present,  are,  for  the  most  part,  con- 
sistent with  the  works  of  those  Bards,  who  profess  them- 
selves disciples  of  the  Druids. 

From  these  authentic  remains  of  British  lore,  I  shall  now 
endeavour  to  deduce  such  a  gejieral  view  of  the  theology 
and  rites  of  our  heathen  ancestors,  as  the  nature  and  extent 
of  these  documents  will  admit  of.  To  attempt  a  complete 
investigation  of  every  minute  part  of  this  subject,  and  to 
prepare  myself  to  answer  every  question  that  may  be  asked, 
is  not  in  my  contemplation.  This  would  be  imposing  upon 
myself  a  task,  difficult  in  execution,  and,  perhaps,  not  very 
gratifying  to  the  Public  in  its  accomplishment.  The  hardy 
antiquary,  who  shall  dare  to  penetrate  far  into  the  labyrinth 
of  British  mythology,  will  have  frequent  occasion  to  com- 
plain of  the  interruption  of  his  clue,  and  the  defect  of 


monuments,  amongst  our  half  Christian  Bards.  Yet  the 
same  Bards  furnish  hints  abundantly  sufficient,  to  point  out 
in  what  the  Druidical  superstition  chiefly  consisted,  and 
from  what  foundation  it  arose.  And  this  seems  to  be  all 
that  can  be  interesting  or  importaift  in  the  subject  be- 
fore us. 

As  I  would  willingly  qualify  my  reader,  to  satisfy  his  own 
curiosity,  and  form  his  own  opinion,  independent  of  mine, 
X  shall  suffer  no  assertion  of  moment  to  intrude  upon  him, 
without  a  full  exhibition  of  the  passage  upon  which  it  is 
grounded.  This  seems  requisite  in  the  present  case.  Were 
my  evidence  to  be  drawn  from  the  writers  of  Greece  and 
Rome,  or  firom  wellrknown  authors  of  modern  times,  it 
might  be  sufficient  to  cite  books,  chapters,  and  verses.  But 
as  Cambro-British  documents  are  less  accessible  to  the 
learned,  I  deem  it  expedient  to  produce  the  original  w^ords 
of  my  authors,  with  close  English  translations.  Such  au- 
thorities will  be^occasionally  introduced,  where  the  subject 
calls  for  them.  As  several  of  the  ancient  poems,  however, 
are  of  a  miscellaneous  nature,  upon  which  various  remarks 
will  arise,  I  have  thrown  a  collection  of  them  together,  as 
as  Appendix,  and  I  shall  refer  to  them  as  they  are 

Before  I  enter  upon  the  discussion,  it  may  be  proper  to 
apprize  my  reader,  of  the  general  deductions  I  make  from 
these  documents,  respecting  the  nature  and  source  of  the 
3)ruidical  superstition,  that  he  may  have  a  clear  prospect  of 
the  point  at  which  I  mean  to  arrive,  and  be  better  enable^ 
to  judge  of  my  progress  towards  jt, 

Pruidism,  then,  as  we  find  it  in  British  docuinentS,  was 
A  systeiii  of  guperstitipn,  composed  _of  heterogeneous  prin« 


ciples.  It  acknowledges  certain  divinities,  under  a  great 
variety  of  names "  and  attributes.  .These  divinities  were, 
originally,  nothing  more  than  deified  mortals,  and  material 
objects ;  mostly  connected  with  the  history  of  the  deluge : 
but  in  the  progress  of  error,  they  were  regarded  as  sym- 
bolized by  the  sun,  moon,  and  certain  stars,  which,  in 
consequence  of  this  confusion,  were  venerated  with  diyine 

And  this  ?\iperstition  apparently  arose;^  from  the  gra- 
dual or  accidental  corruption  of  the  patriarchal  religion,  by 
the  abuse  of  certain  commemorative  honours,  which  were 
paid  to  the  ancestors  of  the  hilman  race,'  and  by  the  ad- 
mixture of  Sabian  idolatry. 

Such  is  the  general  impression,  that  the  study  of  ancient 
British  writings  leaves  upon  my  mind.  This  view,  I  am 
aware,  differs  from  the  opinion  maintained*  by  some  re- 
spectable authors,  that  the  Druids  acknowledged  the  unity 
of  God.* 

If  ever  they  made  such  a  profession,  they  must  be  un- 
derstood in  the  sense  of  other  heathens,  who  occasionally 
declared,  that  their  multitude  of  false  gods  really  consti- 
tuted but  one  character ;  and  not  as  implying,  that  they 
worshipped  the  true  God,  and  him  alone. 

That  they  had  no  knowledge  or  recollection  of  the  great 
FIRST  CAUSE,  I  will  not  venture  to  assert.  I  have  some 
reason  to  conclude,  that  they  did  acknowledge  his  exist- 
ence, and  his  providence;  but  they  saw  him  faintly,  through 
the  thick  veil  of  superstition,  and  their  homage  and  ado- 

»  See  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  p.  107. 


ration  were  almost  wholly  engrossed  by  certain   supposed 
agents,  of  a  subordinate  nature. 

And  the  view  of  this  subject,  presented  by  the  Bards,  is 
consistent  with  history.  Cassar,  in  his  deliberate  and  cir- 
cumstaiitial  ^account  of  the  Druids,  gives  us  this  informa- 
tion. "  Multa — *  de  Deorum  immortalium  vi,  ac  potestate, 
"  disputant,  et  juventuti  tradunt.  Deum  maxime  Mercu- 
"  rium  colunt  —  hunc  omnium  inventorem  artium  ferunt 
"  —post  hunc, ,  ApoUinem,  et  Martem,  et  Jovem,  et  Mi- 
"  nervam.  De  his  eandemyer^,  quam  reliquae  gentes,  ha- 
"  bent  opinionem,"  &c. 

This  memorial  was  drawn  up,  after  the  historian  had 
enjo3^ed  a  long  and  intimate  acquaintance  with  Divitiacus, 
one  of  the  principal  of  the  order  in  Gaul;  and  after  his 
repeated  expeditions  into  Britain,  where  the  institution  was 
affirmed  to  have  originated,  and  where  it  was  observed  with 
superior  accuracy  in  his  time.  Testimonies  so  precise  and 
minute,  coming  from  a  writer  thus  circumstanced,  must 
imply  a  considerable  degree  of  publicity  in  this  part  of  the 
Druidipal  doctrine.  The  priests  of  Gaul  and  Britain  ac- 
knowledged a  plurality  of  divinities,  and  maintained  opi- 
nions respecting  them,  which  were  the  same,  in  substance, 
with  those  of  the  Greeks  and  Romans, 

The  gravity  and  dignity  of  our  autlior's  character,  the 
pointed  precision  of  his  language,  together  with  the  pecu- 
liar access  to  accurate  information,  which  his  situation  of- 

•  They  dispute  largely  concerning  the  force  and  power  of  the  immortal  gods, 
and  instruct  the  youth  in  their  principles.  Of  all  the  gods,  they  pay  the 
greatest  honours  to  Mercury,  whom  they  represent  as  the  inventor  of  all  arts. 
After  him,  ihcy  worship  Apollo,  and  Mars,  and  Jupiter,  and  Minerva.  Their 
cpiliion  respecting  these,  nearly  coincides  with  that  gf  other  nations,  &e. 


fered,  must  place  his  testimony  above  the  reach  of  critical 

Some  allowance,  however,  may  be  demanded^i  for  the 
force  of  the  qualifying  particle,  ferh ;  and  the  whole  pas- 
sage may  be  understood  as  implying,  that  the  similarity 
between  the  Celtic  and  the  Roman  superstition,  was  such, 
as  to  give  Caesar  a  general  impression  of  their  identity;  and 
such  as  may  furnish  us  with  an  argument,  that  they  ori- 
ginally sprung  from  the  same  source ;  though  the  gods  of 
the  Druids  may  not  have  exactly  corresponded  with  those 
of  the  Greeks  or  Romans,  in  their  pedigree,  their  names, 
or  their  attributes. 

The  Druidical  corresponded  with  the  geneml  superstition, 
not  only  in  its  theology,  but  also  in  the  ceremonies  by  which 
the  gods  were  worshipped.  Dionysius  informs  us,  that  the 
rites  of  Bacchus  were  duly  celebrated  in  the  British  islands:* 
and  Strabo  cites  the  authority  of  Artemidorus,. that,  "In 
"  an  island  close  to  Britain,  Ceres  and  Proserpine  are  vene- 
"  rated,  with  rites  similar  to  the  orgies  of  Samothrace."-|' 

As  it  is,  then,  an  historical  fact,  that  the  mythology  and 
the  rites  of  the  Druids  were  the  same,  in  substance,  with 
those  of  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  and  of  other  nations 
which  came  under  their  observiation,  it  must  follow,  that 
these  superstitions  are  reducible  to  the  same  principles,  and 
that  th^y  proceeded  from  the  same  source. 

And  here  our  British  documents  point,  with  clearness  and 

*  Perieg.  V,  565,  &e. 
+  Lib.  JV. 


energy,  to  the  very  same  eoncluslons,  which  have  bee*  ' 
drawn  by  the  best  scholars,  and  most  able  antiquaries,  who 
have  treated  of  general  mythology. 

Mr.  Bryant,  the  great  analyzer  of  heathen  tradition,  has, 
with  luminous  ability,  traced  the  superstition  of  the  Gen-r 
tiles  to  the  deification  of  ISfoah,  his  ark,  and  his  immediate 
progeny,  joined  wjth  the  idolatrous  worship  of  the  host  of 

With  a  dutiful  regard  to  his  illustrioiis  master,  though 
superior  to  servile  imitation,  Mr.  Faber  pursues  the  inves-r 
ligation  still  farther,  and  discovers,  that  Noah  was  wor- 
shipped in  conjunction  with  the  sun,  and  the  ark  in  conjunc- 
tion with  the  moon ;  and  that  these  were  the  principal  dim- 
nities  of  the  heathens.  With  this  author's  mysteries  of  the 
Cabiri,  I  was  wholly  unacquainted,  at  the  time  when  I 
drew  up  the  present  Essay ;  but  I  found  in  this  book  so 
Hilany  points  of  coincidence  with  my  previous  observations, 
that  I  determined  to  revise  the  whole,  to  alt^r  a  few  para- 
graphs, and  add  occasional  notes. 

That  the  opinion  of  the  Public  is  not  uniformly  favour- 
ijble  to  these  authors,  I  am  fully  aware. 

Some  critics,  taking  a  distant  and  prospective  view  of 
the  subject,  pronounce  it  an  improbable  hypothesis,  that 
all  antiquity  should  be  so  mad  after  Noah  and  the  ark; 
whilst  others,  finding  that  the  authors  indulge  in  a  fanciful 
system  of  etymology,  coldly  remark  upon  the  fallacy  of 
such  a  principle,  and  toss  the  books  aside,  as  unworthy  of 
farther  notice.  But  surely  it  may  be  presumedj  that  those 
who  thus  condemn  them  in  the  mass,  had  either  too  mucK. 
prejudice,  or  too  little  patiencCj  to  go  step  by  step  over  the 



ground.  Men  of  leai-ning  and  genius  may  have  been  se- 
duced, by  a  favourite  system,  into  minute  and  particular 
«rrors  and  absurdities;  and  yet,  the  main  scope  of  their 
argument  may  be  perfectly  just,  and  their  general  conclu- 
sions founded  in  truth. 

In  the  supposition,  that  Noah  was  a  principal  object  of 
superstition  to  the  Gentile  world,  I  can  discover  no  absur- 
dity a  priori.  It  is  admitted,  that  some,  at  least,  of  the 
heathen  gods  were  nothing  more  than  deified  mortals,  and 
that  the  worship  of  such  gods  was  introduced  very  soon 
after  the  age  of  Noah.  It  is  then  natural  to  presume,  that 
this  distinguished  person  must  have  been  the  first  object  of 
selection,  in  consequence  of  his  relative  situation,  as  the 
Xiniversal  kiiag  of  the  world,  and  the  great  patriarch  of  all 
the  infant  nations.  To  this,  some  weight  may  be  added, 
from  his  character  and  history,  as  the  Jmt  Man,  whose 
integrity  preserved  himself  and  his  family  amidst  the  ruins 
of  a  perishing  world.  '  And  this  superstition  being  once  set 
on  foot,  -would  naturally  extend  its  honours  to  his  sons  and 
immediate  descendants,  as  the  founders  of  their  respective 

So  again  it  is  easy  to  conceive,  that  even  in  the  age  of 
Noah,  the  ark  was  commemorated  with  great  respect,  as 
the  means  of  miraculous  preservation ;  and  that  a  growing 
superstition  soon  seized  upon  it,  as  an  object  of  idolatrous 
\(forship;  or  else,  r6pr'esented  that  Providence,  which  had 
guided  it  in  safety,  through  the  tumult  of  a  boundless  de- 
luge, as  a  benign  goddess,  the  Genim  of  the  sacred  vessel. 

.  Just  so  the  brazes  serpent,  set  up  by  Moses  in  the  wil- 

derness,  was  adored  by  the  idolatrous  Israelites t — just  so, 
the  Cross  and  the  Virgin  Mary  are  at  this  day  abused  by 
the  church  of  Rome. 

There  is,  therefore,  no  absurdity  in  the  grounds  of  the 
hypothesis,  which  can  be  allowed  to  militate  against  the 
clear  deduction  of  facts. 

The  scheme  of  etymology,  it  must  be  owned,  has  been 
carried  to  great  lengths  by  these  learned  authors :  and  here, 
I  think,  they  often  lay  themselves  open  to  the  censure  of 
men,  whose  genius  and  attainments  are  greatly  inferior  tq 
their  own. 

The  Greeks  having  admitted,  that  many  of  the  terms 
connected  with  their  superstition  were  of  foreign  origin, 
&nd  some  writers  having  asserted,  that  the  language  of  the 
mysteries  was  that  of  Egypt,  or  of  Assyria,  these  mytho- 
I'ogists  undertake  to  retrace  the  sacred  terms  of  heathenism, 
to  the  fountain  from  whence  they  sprung.  With  this  view, 
each  of  them  has  selected  a  list  of  ancient  primitives  from 
various  languages,  but  chiefly  from  the  Hebrew  and  its 
dialects.  Into  these  primitives,  they  resolve  the  sacred 
terms  of  all  nations.  The  names  of  gods,  heroes,  &c. 
which,  to  the  ordinary  scholar,  appear  nothing  more  than 
plain  Greek  or  Latin,  are  all  referred  to  this  mystic  voca- 
bulary. Hence  arises  an  occasion  of  charging  the  Greeks 
with  the  gross  perversion  of  sacred  titles  and  symbols,  and 
the  puerile  corruption  of  foreign  words,  into  something  of 
similar  sound  in  their  own  idiom,  but  of  very  different  im- 
port from  the  original  tradition ;  and  hence  the  magisterial 

»  ?  Kings,  ch.  XYJii.  v.  i. 


pi^actice  of  carrying  them  back,  in  disjointed  syllables,  to 
their  supposed  originals^ 

This  has  given  oflfence  to  many  critical  readers,  who 
maintain,  that  by  such  a  mode  of  proceeding,  any  common 
word  may  be  forced  into  whatever  meaning  the  author 
ipleases.  How  far  such  a  scheme  of,  etymology. may  be 
allowed,  I  shall  not  pretend  to  determine.  At  the  same 
time,  I  must  acknowledge  that,  in  my  apprehension,  these 
gentlexnen  have  made  an  injudicious,  as  well  as  an  intem- 
perate use  of  it.  Proofs  of  this  kind  seldom  amount  to 
demonstration.  They  give  the  reader  too  many  occasions 
of  hesitating,  or  of  differing  in  opinion  from  his  author ; 
and  thus  tend  to  lessen  that  confidence,  which  might  other- 
wise have  been  preserved  by  the  legitimate  argument,  and 
the  candid  exposition  of  recorded  facts,  which  are  to  be 
found  in  the  works  before  us. 

Could  1  give  an  unqualified  assent  to  the  justice  of  these 
etymologies,  yet,  in  my  present  subject,  I  should  not  be 
able  to  reduce  them  to  general  practice.  For  though  most 
of  the  sacred  terms,  employed  in  the  British  documents, 
have  meanings  appropriate  to  the  business  in  hand,  and 
should  therefore  be  translated,  yet  by  far  the  greatest,  part 
of  them  are  native  terms  of  the  British  language,  and 
have  the  same  import  with  the  corresponding  terms  in 
Greek  mythology. 

Were  I  then  to  admit,  that  the  Greek  terms  are  nothing 
more  than  etymological  blunders,  I  must  also  infer  that  the 
Britons,  who  furnish  us  with  the  very  same  blunders  in 
their  own  dialect,  derived  their  mythology  immediately  from 
the  Greeks :  but  I  have  some  reason  to  believe  that  this  was 
not  the  case. 


In  Ae  mystic,  fiards  and  tales,  I  find  certain  tefins, 
which  evidently  pertain  to  the  Hebrew  language,  or  to 
some  dialect  of  near  affinity;  as  Adonai,  the  Lord;  Al 
Adiur,  the  Gloriom  God;  Arazen,  the  Arkite,  and  the  like, 

Taliesin,  the  chief  Bard,  declares,  that  his  lore  had  haeQ 
detailed  in  Hebraic;*  and  in  a  song,  the  substance  .of 
which  he  professes  to  have  derived  froni  the  sacred  Ogdoad, 
,or  Arkites,  there  are  several  lines  together  in  some  fojeiga 
dialect,  apparently  of  great  affinity  with  the  Hebrew, 
though  obscured  by  British  orthography.  •{-  Hence  I  think 
it  probable,  that  the  Britons  once  had  certain  mystic 
poems,  composed  in  some  dialect  of  Asia;  that  this  is  a 
fragment  of  those  poems;  and  that  those  parts  of  their 
superstition,  which  were  not  properly  Celtic,  were  derived 
from  that  quarter  of  the  globe.  And  if  so,  our  ancestors 
could  not  have  obtained  their  sacred  vocabulary,  by  adopit* 
ing  the  mere  grammatical  blunders  of  the  Greeks. 

Thus  I  am  compeiHed  to  decline  any  g£aieral  assistance 
from  the  derivations  of  our  learned  mythologists.  At  the 
same  time,  I  shall  not  scruple  to  remark  occasional  coin- 
cidences between  British  terms,  and  those  which  appear  ia 
their  works.  This,  I  trust,  I  may  do  with  impunity.  If 
some  of  their  etymologies  are  forced  or  doubtful,  others 
may  be  .natuial,  and  well  founded. 

Thus  far  I  have  deemed  it  prudent  to  meet  the  objection* 
of  criticism.  Should  this  compromise  prove  unsatisfactory, 
i  must  farther  declare,  that  the  ba&ia  of  my  argument  doa» 

*  See  Appendix,  No,  13. 
t  Ibid.  Nb.  is. 


not  Test  upon  the  works  of  these  authors.  I  cite  them  only 
for  collateral  proof,  or  elucidation  of  the  evidence  which  I 
draw  from  another  source;  and,  for  the  purpose  of  veri- 
fying the  report  of  history,  that  the  superstition  of  tiie 
Druids  was  radically  the  same  with  that  of  other  nations. 
In  my  attempt  to  establish  my  main  proposition,  I  mean  t® 
stand  or  fall  upon  my  own  ground. 

And  to  this  end  I  must,  first  of  all,  produce  evidence, 
that  the  people  who  professed  Druidism,  retained  some 
memorials  of  the  deluge,  and  of  the  patriarch  of  the  new 

The  subject  lias  already  been  touched  upon  in  the  volume 
which  I  lately  published.  I  there  remarked  a  curious  record 
in  the  British  Triads,  of  an  cCmful  event,  namely.  The 
bursting  forth  of  the  Lake  of  Llion,  and  the  overwhelming 
of  the  face  of  all  lands;  so  that  all  mankind  were  drowned, 
excepting  Dwyvan  and  Dwyvach,  who  escaped  in  a  naked 
vessel  (or  a  vessel  without  sails),  and  by  whom  the  island  of 
Britain  was  repeopled. 

To  this  I  subjoined  a  tradition,  taken  from  the  same 
documents,  of  the  Master-works,  or  great  achievements  of 
the  Island  of  Britain.  The  first  of  thiese  was.  Building  the 
ship  of  Nevydd  Ndv  Neivion,  which  carried  in  it  a  male  and 
a  female  of  every  animal  species,  when  the  Lake  'of  Llion 
burst  forth:  and  the  second  was.  The  drawing  of -the  Avanc 
,to  land,  out  of  the  lake,  by  the  oxen  of  Hu  Gadarn,  -so  that 
the  lake  burst  no  more.* 

These  are  evident  traditions  of  the  deluge;    and  their 

—         -.,——1-1—  ....I. ■■■■ - -— ■!- -.■■.  ..       ■     .-I         l.-l— ^i_ 

•  See  Celt.  Res.  p.- 157,  from  4rchaiology  of  Wales,  V.  II.  p.  59,  and  7U 


ideality,  as  well  as  their  other  peculiarities,  furnishes  stiffi* 
cient  proof,  that  they  must  have  been  ancient  natvtnal  tra- 
ditions. Such  memorials  as  these  cannot  be  supposed  to 
have  originated  in  the  perversion  of  the  sacred  records, 
during  any  age  subsequent  to  the  introduction  of  Chris- 
tianity, The  contrary  appears,  from  their  whimsical  dis- 
crepancy with  historical  fact. 

The  Britons,  then,  had  a  tradition  of  a  deluge,  which 
had  overwhelmed  all  lands ;  but  this  deluge,  according  to 
them,  was  occasioned  by  the  sudden  bursting  of  a  lake. 
One  vessel  had  escaped  the  catastrophe:  in  this  a  single 
man  and  woman  were  preserved;  and  as  Britain  and  its 
inhabitants  were,  in  their  estimation,  the  most  important 
objects  in  the  world,  so  we  are  told,  that  this  island,  in  an 
especial  manner,  was  repeopled  by  the  man  and  woman 
who  had  escaped.  This  has  no  appearance  of  having  been 
drawn  from  the  record  of  Moses :  it  is  a  mere  mutilated 
tradition,  such  as  was  common  to  most  heathen  nations. 

So  again,  the  Britons  had  a  tradition,  that  a  vessel  had 
been  provided,  somewhere  or  other,  to  preserve  a  single 
family,  and  the  race  of  animals,  from  the  destruction  of  a 
deluge;  but  they  possessed  only  a  mutilated  part  of  the 
real  history:  and,  as  tradition  positively  affirmed,  that 
their  oxen  ancestors  were  concerned  in  theT)uildina:  of  this 
vessel, '  they  naturally  ascribed  the  achievement  to  that 
couiitry,  in  which  their  progenitors  had  been  settled  from 
remote  antiquity.  And  lastly,  they  had  a  tradition,  that 
some  great  operating  cause  protected  the  world  from  a  re- 
petition of  the  deluge.  They  had  lost  sight  of  the  true 
history,  which  rests  this  security  upon  the  promise  of  the 
supreme  Being,  and  ascribed  it  to  the  feat  of  a  yoke  of 
oxen,  which  drew  tlie  avanc,  or   beaver,  out  of  tlie  lake. 


And  tlie  want  of  more  accurate  information  gstve  them  drt 
opportunity  of  placing  this  ideal  achievement  in  the  island 
of  Britain. 

In  such  tales  as  these,  we  liave  only  the  vestiges  of  hea- 
thenism. Even  the  locality  of  British  tradition  is  exactly 
similar  to  that  of  other  heathen  reports;  To  give  one 

The  flood  of  Deucalion  was  undoubtedly  the  flood  of 
Noah.  It  is  described  by  Greek  and  Latin  writers,  with 
circumstances  which  apply  exclusively  to  this  event.  There 
never  has  been  another  deluge,  which  could  have  borne  a 
vessel  to  the  top  of  a  lofty  mountain,  and  which  destroyed  the 
whole  human  race,  excepting  those  who  were  preserved  in 
that  vessel.  Yet  the  Thessalians  represented  Deucalion, 
the  person  preserved,  as  one  of  their  own  princes,  and 
affirmed,  that  the  vessel  which  escaped  the  deluge,  rested 
upon  the  top  of  Parnassus,  a  mountain  of  their  own  couiitry. 

It  may  be  remarked,  that  upon  their  popular  tradition  of 
the  deluge,  the  Britons  grounded  another  national  error. 
They  represented  the  Cynii-y  as  having  descended  from  one 
inother  (thei  woman  who  disembarked  from  the  sacred  ship), 
within  this  island,  or,  in  other  words,  that  this  was  the 
cradle  of  the  Cymry  nation.  And  it  appears  from  Caesar, 
that  the  Britons  of  his  age,  in  the  interior  of  this  island, 
had  the  very  same  ancient  tradition  or  memorial  Biatan- 
niae  pars  interior  ab  iis  incolitur,  quos  natos  in  insuld  ipsa, 
jdKMORiA  PjtOBrrrM  dicunt.* 

•De  Bell.  Gal,  L.  V.  c.  18. 


But  the  mass  pf  heathen  tradition  is  always  foujjid  to  have 
soip,e  degree  6f  iflfonsistency  with  itself.  Sopie  cjreum- 
stance  of  true  history^  which  is  disguised  in  oqe  tale,  is 
frequently  let  out  in  another.  Thus  I  have  remarked  a  tra-s 
dition  in  the  same  Tricids,  which  brings  the  Cymry  under 
thi^  cqndijct  of,  Hu,  from  a  place  called  Defrobani,  in  the 
laijjd,  o£  H^v;  and  this  i^.  understooid  to  imply  thj?  neigh- 
bourhood of  Constantinople,  in  the  eastern  part  of  Thrace, 
The  former  may  have  been  the  popular  tradition  of  the 
ii^tcrior  Britons,  or  what  their  teachers  thought  proper  to 
i^icH^ate  to  the  multitude;  whilst  the  latter  belonged  fa 
those  who  had  preserved  a  few  more  vestiges. of  ancient, his-- 
tory.  -4nd  that  this  had  been  the  route  of  thg.  Cymry,  in. 
their,  progress  out  of  Asia  into  Britain,  is  incidentally  con- 
-f^rpi^e^  by  t^e  popi^lar  tradition  of  the  Britons  respecting 
thg  deluge.  For  though  tfe?  memory,  of  &is  event  was 
afeost  universal,  yet  the  traditions  of  every-yeople  fipon 
this  subject,  had  some  circimistances  which  were  local,  or 
nationp,lly  discriniin^tive.  And .  the  .tradjliion  of  Briims, 
and  of  the  Samothracians,  as  to  the  cause  of  the  delnge, 
were  precisely  the  same,  .,_        'y.  ,  .  " -. 

The  British  tradition  tells  us,  that  the  waters  of  a  lake 
burst  forth,  ajftd  .the  inundation  covered  the  face  of  all 
lan^s,  .  The  same  tale  was  told  in  the  ancient  Samos,  which 
was,,  perhaps,  the  /S'iJaw^  of  British,  mythdogy. 

"  §amothj;ace  is  famous  for  a  deluge  which  inundated  the 
"  country^  and  reached  the  very  top  of  the  mountains. 
"  This  inundation,  which  happened  before,  the  age  of  the 
"  Argonauts,  was  oteing  to  the  sudden  overflow  of  the  waters 
"  of  the  Euxine,  which  the  ancients  considered  merely  as  a 
"  lake."* 

*  Lemphere  Bib,  Class.     V,  Samothracia* 


That  thd  pefversion  of  real  history,  in  botli  these  ac-s 
counts,  is  precisdy  the  same,  must  bfe  obvious  to  every 
one.  Such  a  peculiar  coincidence  could  not  have  hap- 
Jjened,  without  direct  communication :  and  the  tradition 
could  not  have  become  national,-  without  having  been 
brought  by  a  colony  from  one  nation  to  aiiothef;  and  pre" 
liserved  without  interruption/  But  the  mythology  of  Samo- 
thrace  mounts  up  to-  a  very  remote  sera  of  antiquity,  and 
the  Euxine,  iri  its  neighbourhood,  with  i£s  wide  extent, 
find  narrow  outlet,  furnishes  a  more  probable!  occasion  fof 
such  a  tale,  than  any  lake  in  the'  neighbourhood  of  Britain. 
Hence  the  supposition,  that  this  mythological  story  came 
with  a  colony  from  the  l^egioh  contiguous  to  the  ancient 
Samos  into  Britain,  agreeably  to  the  memorial  of  our  an^ 
cestors,  and  the  tale  of  Hu,  seems  much  more  plausible, 
than  the  converse  of  that  proposition.  And  here  the  testi- 
mony of  Artemidorus,  that  the  mysteries  of  Ceres  and 
Proserpine  were  celebrated  in  one  of  the  British  islands, 
with  the  same  rites  as  in  Samothrace^  tends  to  corroborate 
the  inference  which  I  draw  from  our  national  tradition. 

The  allusions  to  the  delugfe,  in  British  mythology,  come 
under  various  points  of  view*  On  a  former  occasion,*  I 
referred  the  history  of  Dylan  Ail  M6r,  Dylan,  Son  of  the 
Sea,  or  Ail  Ton,  Son  of  the  Wave,  to  this  event.  But  in 
looking  over  Mri  Owen's  Cambrian  Biography,  a  volume 
which  appeared  whilst  my  book  was  in  the  press,  I  observe, 
that  the  author  is  of  a  different  opinion,  which  he  fhffs 

"  Dylan  ail  Ton,  a  chieftain  who  lived  about  the  begin- 

H  2 

•  Celt;  Res,  p,  163, 


"  ning  of  the  sixth  century,  whose  elegy,  composed  hj' 
"  Taliesin,  is  preserved  in  the  Welsh  Archaiology/' 

As  Mr.  Owen  grounds  his  opinion  upon  this  elegy,  I  shall 
examine  its  contentSi  In  the  mean  J;ime,  I  may  be  allowed, 
in  support  of  my  own  assertion,  to  bring  forward  a  few 
passages,  in  which  this  name  occurs.  I  shall  leave  the  re- 
sult with  the  reader. 

Taliesin,  in  bis  Cad  Groddeii,*  speaks  thus  of  Dylan-^ 

"  Truly  I  was  in  the  ship 

"  With  Bytart,  Son  of  the  Sea, 

"  Embraced  in  the  centre, 

*'  Between  the  Royal  knees, 

"  When,  like  the  rushing  of  hostile  spears^ 

"  The  floods  came  forth, 

"  From  Heaven,  to  the  great  deep." 

This  passage  surely  has  an  evident  allusi,on  to  the  deluge. 
The  Bard,  therefore,  must  have  regarded  Dylan  as  no 
other  than  the  patriarch  who  survived  that  catastrophe,-  and 
whom  hejMsf/y  styles  Teyrnedd,  or  Hoyal,  as  being  the  uni- 
versal monarch  of  the  new  world; 

So  again,  in  his  Mabgyvreu,  f  the  same  Bard  alludes  to 
the  British  tiaditron  of  the  deluge,  and  speaks  of  the  day 
of  Dylan,  as  a  peculiar  theme  of  his  muse.- 

Arall  ni  chan — wyd 
Dy  ysgvvyd  allan, 

- — b. — HI • —  ,  I     ■■  I        II 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  30. 
t  Ibid.  p.  'ii. 


Pan  yw  gofaran — twrwf 
Tonneu  wrth  Ian, 
Yn  nial  Dylan; 
Dydd  a  haedd  attan, 

*'  No  other  Bard  will  sing — the  violence 

♦*  Of  convulsive  throes, 

"  When  forth  proceeded — with  thundering  din, 

"  The  billows  against  the  shore, 

"  In  Dylan's  day  of  vengeance— tt 

f  A  day  which  extends  to  us," 

The  last  line  of  this  passage,  as  I  shall  shew  hereafter, 
alludes  to  certain  mystic  rites,  which  the  Druids  celebrated 
in  coHjmenioration  of  the  deluge, 

Casnodyn,  an  eminent  Bard  of  the  fourteenth  century,  in 
speaking  of  the  future  judgment,  alludes  to  this  passage  of 
Taliesin,  and  copies  several  of  his  words :  at  the  same  time, 
he  introduces  certain  images,  which  may  remind  us  of  the 
Druidical  opinion,  that  fire  and  tmter  would,  at  some  pe^ 
liod,  prevail  over  the  world,* 

"  He  whom  we  know,  will  suddenly  prepare  the  field  of 
"  judgment :  to  us  .will  he  come,  and  will  not  keep  silence. 
"  When  God  shall  reveal  his  countenance^  the  house  of 
♦'  earth  will  uplift  itself  over  us :  a  panic  of  the  noise  of 
*'  legions  in  the  conflict,  will  urge  on  the  flight ;  harshly, 
"  the  loud-voiced  wind  will  call :  the  variegated  wave  tcUI 
"  dash  around  the  shore:  the  glancing  flame  will  take  to 
•'  itself  the  vengeance  of  justice,  r-ecruited  by  the  heat  of 
<'  contending  fires,  ever  bursting  forth."-}- 

•  Strabo,  L.  IV. 

t  W,  Archaiol.  p.  431, 


In  the  same  poem,  the  Bar^  thus  «S3fpresses  himself,  in 
aij  jKldress  to  the_S)]preme  Being — 

Trevnaist  syr  a  mjr  morawl  Dylan. ' 

((  Thou  didst  set  in  o):4er  the  stars,  ai^d  the  seas,  of  the 
f  sea-faring  D^lan.'^ 

Pence  it  \%  clear,  that  the  anpient  and  rnodern  Pards 
regarded  Dylan,  the  son  of  the  sea,  as  no  other  personage 
than  the  pa,triarch,  whose  hjstory  is  connected  wifh  that  of 

the  deluge, 

It  is  now  time  to  look  for  the  elegy,  which  Taliesin  com-r 
posed  for  this  venerahle  character.  This  little  piece  is  not 
to  be  fouiid  in  the  Archaiology ;  but,  from  a  copy  in  my 
possession,  I  am  led  to  conclude  that  the  title  is  erroneous, 
and  that,  instead  of  being  called  jyfarwnad  Dylan,  the 
Elegy  of  Dylan,  it  ought  to  have  been,  Cerdd  am  Ddylan, 
§  Song  respecting  Dylan.    The  argument  is  simply  this, 

A  certain  plain  having  been  inundated  in  the  age  of  pur 
Bard,  he  expostulates  with  the  Deity  upon  the  occasion  of 
this  event.  He  then  maies  a  natural  transition  to  the  my- 
thology of  the  flood  of  Dylan,  or  the  deluge,  which  had 
been  occasioned  by  the  profligacy  of  mankind,  and  concludes 
with  a  prayer  for  the  deliverance  pf  his  countrymen  frpij^ 
the  ejfisting  cfilamity, 

Sqrjie  of  the  lines  are  impprfect  in  my  copy ;  but  >vith 
the  correction  of  a  few  syllables,  as  suggested  equally  by 
the'  sense,  by  the  measure,  and  by  the  alliteration  which 
jiiat  Riea?ure  require^,  it  stands  as  foljows— r 


Uil  Duw  uchAvj 
,  Devvin  doethav, 

Mwyav  o  vael. 
Py  delis  maes,  '    ■  ■■■ 

Pwy  ai  swynas 

Yn  Haw  f rahael  ? 
Neu  gynt  nog  ev  '  ' 

Pwy  oedd  tangnev, 

Ar  reddv  gavael  ?  '• 

Gwythriv  gwastradth 
Gvvenwyn  a  wnaeth 

Gwaith  gwythloesedd. 
Gwenyg  Dylan 
Adwythig  Ian, 

Gwaith  yn  hydredd. 
Ton  Iwerddon, 
Ton  Vanawon 

A  thon  Ogkdd, 
A  thon  Prydairi 
Tdrvoedd  virain 

Yn  beddirwedd^— 
Golychav  i  Md, 
Duw,  Dovydd  D&d, 

Gwlad  heb  omedd ; 
Creawdr  Cell  y'     ■ 

A'n  cynnwys  ni  '  ' 


Which  may  be  thiis  trandated*^ 

"  Q  sole,  supreme  God,  most  wise  urifolder  of  Ste'crets, 
"  most  beneficent !  What  has  befaiUen  the  plain,  who  has 
**  enchanted  it  ift  the  hands  of  the  inost  geiierdus !  In  for- 


"  mer  times,  what  has  been  more  peaceful  than  this  district, 
f  as  a  natural  possession  J. 

"  It  was  the  counter-reckoning  pf.  profligacy,  which  pro* 
f'  duced  the  bane  in  the  laborious  pang  of  wrath — the  Ml-; 
f  lows  of  liylan  furiously  attacked  the  shore :  forth,  imper 
''  tuously,  rushed  the  wave  of  Ireland,  the  wave  of  the 
"  Manks,  the  Northern  wave,  and  the  wave  of  Britain, 
^*  nurse  of  the  fair  tribes,  in  fguir  ofdprs, 

"  I  will  pray  to  the  Father,  God,  the  Ruler,  the  Fathef 
**  who  reigns  without  control,  that  he,  the  Creator,  the 
♦*  Mysterious  One,  would  embrace  us  witlj  his  mercy  j" 

This  little  ode,  I  think,  cannqt  supply  the  slightest  shade 
of  authority,  for  ranking  Dylan  ail  Ton  amongst  the  British 
chieftains  of  the  sixth  century.  The  namp  merely  occurs  in 
the  recital  of  a  few  circumstances  of  the  national  and  local 
tradition  of  pur  ancestors,  respecting  the  deluge ;  and  thus 
\t  connects  the  character  of  Dylan  with  that  of  Dwyvan, 
iaild  Nevydd  Ndv  Neivjop,  recorded  in  the  Tpja^s, 

Dylan,  the  Declari  of  Jrish  tradition,  sounds  like  a  con- 
traction of  Deucalion ;  and  the  people  who  preserved  this 
name^  affirm,  t]iat  they  derived  their  origin  from  the  neighr 
bourhopd  of  Thessaly,  where  the  story  pf  Deucalion  was 
t:oId.  But  not  to  insist  upon  these  circumstances,  I  may  be 
allowed  tp  rpmark,  that  the  sea,  the  waves,  or  even  the 
streams  of  Dylan,  are  used  in  t|ie  Welsh  language,  to  de-; 
note  the  main  ocean,  or  a  boundless  expanse  of  water ;  and 
thq,t  the  roetaphpr  evii^pptly  refers  \p  the  deluge. 

]H[g,ving  now  produced  some  evidence,  that  the  Britons 
(^id  retain  certain  giemorials  of  the  deluge,  and  of  the  pa«. 


triarch  who  survived  that  catastrophe,  I  will,  in  the  next 
place,  consider  their  representation  of  thatpatriarch's  cha^ 
ractef,  that  we  may  discover  how  far  their  notions  respect- 
ing him,  and  the  incidents  of  his  days,  affected  their 
Rational  religion. 

This  venerable  personage  has  already  been  introduced  by 
»  variety  of  names,  as  Dwyvan,  I^evydd  Ndv  Neivion,  and 
Dylan ;  but  wfi  have  had  no  positive  evidence  that  he  re-r 
peived  divine  honours. 

Were  I  permitted  to  Jay  stress  upon  obvious  etymologies, 
I  might  say,  that  some  of  those  names  are  remarkable,  and 
import  that  proposition.  Thus  Dwy,  cause,  origin,  the 
existent.  Dwy-van,  the  high  or  lofty  cause — the  father  of 
mankind.,  His  wife's  name  was  Dwy-vach,  the  lesser  cause — 
the  mother  of  mankind.  These  names  seem  analogous  to 
the  Pangenetor  and  Magna  Mater  of  antiquity,  whiclt  were 
objects  of  worship. 

So  again :  Nevydd,  as  a  derivative  of  Nev,  Heaven,  im-r 
plies  the  celestial.  Ndv,  a  Lord,  the  Creator:  like  many 
other  terms  of  aijcienf  British  mythology,  it  is  still  used 
as  a  name  of  the  Supreme  Being.  Neivion,  in  the  Baxds, 
js  3,  name  of  God.  "  Also  the  name  pf  a  person  in  the 
"  British  njythology,  probably  the  same  with  Neptune.''^ 
So  that  Nevydd  Nav  Neivion  is  the  Celestial  Lord  Neivion. 

Under  these  consecrated  characters,  we  may  infer,  that 
the  patriarch  Noah  received  divine  honours;  and  conse- 
qijently,  thg,t  he  constituted  ppe  pf  the  principal  divinities 
acknowledged  by  the  Druids. 

r^ — i:x- fs-^ — ' — — - — ■ ■ ■ '' 

*  Pwen's  Dipt,  ji}  V9cf. 


1  This  fact  admits  of  absolute  pfoof,  when  we  conteftiplate 
the  charactei-  of  the  same  pattiarch,  as  delineated  -under  the 
name  of  Hu  (pron.  HeeJ,  who  secured  the  world  from  a 
repetition  of  the  deluge,  and  whom  the  Cymry  acknow- 
ledged as  their  remote  progenitor,  as  the  great  founder  6f 
theijr  sapred  and  civ^l  institutes,  and  as  their  God, 

■-  ■     -.4-- 

In  order  to  elucidate,  this  subject,  I  shall,  first  of  all, 
revise  some  of  the  evidence  which  I  adduced  upon  a  former 
occasion,  :  ■ 

In  a  Triad  already  cited,  after  the  account  of  the  saered 
ship  which  preserved  the  human  and  br'iite  species,  when 
the  lake  bupst  forth  and  drowned  the  world,  is  subjoined. 
The  drawing  of  the  avanc  ta  Idmd  out  of  the  lake,  by  th^ 
oxen  qf  Hu  GadaeI*-,  so  that  the  lake  burst  no  more.  Here 
his  history  is  expressly  referred  to  the  age  of  the  deluge. 
But  what  character  did  he  support  in  that  age?  The  my- 
thological Triads  represent  him  only  as  a  human  patriarch, 
and  a  lawgiver.  The  folloAving  particulars  are  riecorded 
pf  him. 

1.  He  lived  in  the  time  of  th^  flood  5  and 

2.  With  his  oxen,  he  performed  sOtae  atehievent^nty  which 
prevented  the  repetition  of  that  calaniity.    Triad  97.* 

3.  He  first  collected  together,  or  carried  the  primitive 
race;  and 

4.  Formed  them  into  edmmunities  or  femilies,    Triad  57. 

•  These  numbers  refer  tp  that  series  which  begins  p.  $7.    W.  Arshaiol. 


5:  He  first  gave  traditional  liiws,  for  the  regulation  and 
government  of  society.    Tria^  92. 

6.  He  was  eminently  distinguished' ifor  his  regard  to  jus- 
lice,  equity,  and  peace.    Triad  5. 

7-  He  conducted  the  several  families  of  the  first  race 
jto  their  respective  settlements  in  the  various  regions, 
Triad  4. 

8.  But  he  had  instructed  this  r^ce  in  the  art  of  husbandry 
previous  to  their  removal  and  separation.    Triad  56. 

Such  are  the  particiilars  which  I  find  recorded  ip  those 
Triads,  respecting  Hu  the  Mighty.  If  characteristics  like 
these  determined  my  opinion,  that  the  picture  exclusively 
represented  the  patriarch  Noah,  I  hope  they  have  not  led 
jne  to  transgress  the  laws  of  criticism,  which  have  been  air 
Jowed  in  similar  cases. 

The  great  Mr.  Bryant  is  satisfied  with  such  marks  as 
the^e :  and  he  points  out  a  delineation  of  the  progenitor  of 
all  nations,  in  nearly  the  same  words. 

"  The  patriarch,  under  whatever  title  he  may  come,  is 
f  generally  represented  as  the  father  (jf  Gods  and  men, ;  but 
"  in  the  character  of  Phoroneus,,  (for  in  this  he  is  plainly 
''  alluded  to)  he  seems  to  be  described  merely,  as  the  first 
f  of  mortals.  The  outlines  of  his  history  are  so  strongly 
*'  marked,  that  we  cannot  mistake  to  whom  the  mythology 
*'  relates.  He  live^ifi,  the  time  of  the  flood :  He  flrst  built 
f  an  altar :  He  flrst  collected  men  together,  and  formed  them 
('  ifito  commifinitk^:    He  first  gcoie.  lazps,   a^i .  ^dstrib^t&i 


*'  jmfiee :  He  dimded,  mankind  by  their  families  and  natfonSf 
'^  ove?'  the  face  of  the  earth."  * 

If  the  learned  be.  authorized  by  sound  criticism,  to  refer 
the  traditions  of  the  Greeks  to  the  incidents  of  primitive 
history,  there  can  be  no  just  reason  for  denying  the  like  pri- 
vilege to  the  Britons,  in  behalf  of  their  national  mythology, 
when  they  find  it  has  recorded  the  very  same  circumstances. 
The  character  of  Hu  is,  then,^  as  justly  referable  to  the  pa- 
triarch Noah,  as  that  of  Phoroneus, 

Before  I  trace  the  character  of  this  personage,  as  delj^ 
neated  by  the  ancient  Bards,  it  may  be  proper  to  hear  what 
was  :sjiid  and  thought  of  him  in  the  middle  ages.  lolo 
Goch,  a  learned  Bard,  who  wrote  in  the  fourteenth  century, 
thus  draws  t}ie  portrait  of  Hu,  as  a  patriarch. 

Hu  gadarn,  por,  hoew  geidwawd 

Brenin  a  roe'r  gwin  a'r  gwawd 

Emherawdr  tir  a  moroedd 

A  bywyd  oil  o'r  byd  oedd, 

Ai  dalioedd  gwedy  diliw 

Aradr  gwaisg  arnoddgadr  gwiw  i, 

Er  dangos  ein  ior  dawngoeth 

I'r  dyn  balch,  a'r  divalch  doelh 

Vod  yn  orau,  nid  gau  gair,  • 

Ungreft,  gan  y  tid  iawngrair. 

^'  Hu  the  Mighty,  the  sovereign,  the  ready  protector, 
"  a  king,  thfe  giVer  of  wine  and  renown,  the  emperor  of  the 
"  land  and  th^  seas,  anith^  life  of  all  that  are  in  the  zcorld 
"  was  he. 

♦  Afialyaw,  V.  H  p.  366.. 


*'  Afur  the  deluge,  he  held  the  strong-ieamhd  ploii^hf 
*'  active  and  excellent ;  this  did  our  Lord  of  stimulating 
"  genius,  that  he  might  shew  to  the  proud  man,  and  to  the 
"  humbly  wise,  the  art  which  was  most  approved  by  ^le 
"  faithful  father  5  nor  is  this  sentiment  false/' 

It  is  scarcely  possible,  that  the  character  of  Noah  should 
be  drawn  in  stronger  colours,  or  with  touches  more  exclu- 
sively {Lppropriate.  The  picture  can  be  ascribed  to  no  othei' 

Yet  this  patriarch  was  actually  deified  and  worshipped, 
by  the  ancient  Biitons. — Sion  Cent,  an  illustrious  poet,  of 
the  fifteenth  century,  complains  of  the  relics  of  the  old  su- 
perstitioii,  and  thus  characterizes  the  religion  of  the  votaries 
of  Hu,  as  distinguished  from  that  of  Christ. 

l)wy  ryw  awen  dioer  ewybr' 
Y  sy'n  y  byd,  loewbryd  Iwybr : 
Awen  gan  Grist>  ddidrist  ddadl 
O  iawn  dro,  awen  drwyadl : 
Awen  arall,  nid  call  cant 
^Ar  gehvydd,  vudr  argoeliant  t 
Yr  b  »n  a  gavas  gwyr  H  u, 
Carnrwysg  prydyddion  CymrUj 

"  Two  active  impulses  truly,  there  are  in  the  world ; 
"  and  their  course  is  manifest ;  an  impulse  from  Christ — - 
"  joyful  is  the  theme— of  a  right  tendency  :  an  energetic 
"  principle. 

**'  Anothor  impulse  there  is  (indiscreetly  sling)  oi  falshood 
"  and  base  omens:  this  has  been  obtained  by  the  men  of 
^'  Hu,  the  usurping  Bards  of  Wales." 


Here,  the  Welsti  are  cliarged  with  their  devotiori  fo  Hit^ 
as  a  Heathen  God ;  nor  was  this  complaint  of  the  Christian 
Bard  teholly  out  of  season ;  for,  however,  strange  it  may 
appear  in  the  present  age,  some  of  his  conteflipordries  were 
not  ashamed  to  avow  thera^lves  the  votaries  of  this  Pagaflf 
divinity.  Of  this,  the  following  lines  of  Hhys  3rydydd  fnr-» 
aish  a  glaf iftg  prodft 

Bychanav  o'r  bychenyd 
Yw  Hu  Gadarn,  ve  i  barn  byd ; 
A  Mwyav  a  Nav  i  ni. 
Da  Coeliwn,  a'n  Duw  Celi. 
Ysgawh  ei  daitlr  ag  esgud: 
Mymryn  tSs  gloewyn  ei  gliidv 
A  mawr  ar  dir  a  moroedd 
A  mwyav  a  gav  at  goedd, 
Mwy  no'r  bybodd !  'marbedwii 
Amharch  gwael  i'r  mawr  hael  hwn ! 

"  The  smallest  of  the  small  is  Hu  the  Mighty,  in  the 
"  world's  judgment ;  ■  yet  he  is  the  greatest;  and  Lord  over  m^ 
we  sincerely  believe,  and  our  God  of  mystery.  Light  is  his 
course,  and  swift:  a,  particle  of  ludd  sunshine  is  his  car. 
He  is  great  on  land  and  Seas — the  greatest  whom  I  shall 
behold — greater  thart-  tlie  worlds!  Let  us  beware  of  oifer- 
ing  mean  indignity  to  him,  the  Great  and  the  Boun' 

Here  we  find  that  Hu  the  Mighty,  whose  history  as  a  pa- 
triarch, is  precisely  that  of  Noah,  was  promoted  to  the 
tank  of  the  principal  Demon  God  amongst  the  Britons ;  and» 
as  his  chariot  was  composed  of  thg  rays  of  the  sun,  it  may  be 
presumed  that  he  was  worshipped,  in  conjunction  with  that 


luminai'y :  arid  to  the  same  supefstijasoo,  we  laay  refef  what 
18  said  o£his  light  and  swift  course. 

Nor  was  Hu  alone,  elevated  to  the  heavens,  but  even  the 
sacred  oxen,  his  constant  attribute,  were  contemplated,  as 
bellowing  in  the  thunder,  arid  glaring  in  the  lightning,  upon 
which  subject  we  have  the  following  lines,  by  Llywelyn 

Ychain  yn'  o  chynhenid 
H<i  Gadarn,  a  darn  o'i  did 
A'i  bum  cingel,  a  welvvch, 
A  pheirian  auf  flamdan  flwch. 

"  Should  it  be  disputed,  I  assert— These  are  the  oxen  of 
"  Hu  the  Mighty,  with  a  part  of  his  chain,  and  his  fiv6 
"  angels  (or  attendants)  which  ye  now  behold,  with  a 
"  golden  harness  of  active  flame." 

The  chain  and  the  harness  allude  to  the  mythological  at- 

chievement  of  Hu  and  his  oxen — the  drawing  of  the  Avane 

out    of  the  lake,    so  as  to  prevent  the  repetition  of  the 


Thus  we  find,  that  Hu  Gadarn,  to  whom  the  Triads, 
evidently  ascribe  the  exclusive  history  of  Noah,  is  recog- 
nized in  the  same  view  precisely,  by  the  Bards  of  the 
fourteenth  century. 

He  is  acknowledged  as  a  ready  protector  orpfeserver;  thus=, 
the  peculiar  righteousness  of  Noah  made  him  the  preserver 
of  the  human  race. 

He  is  the  giver  of  wins  and  renown :  so  Noah  was  the  first 

who  planted  a  mneyard^  taught  mankind  the  meth6d  -of 
preparing  wine,  and  pronounced  a  prophetic  eulogy  upon  his 
dutiful  sons* 

Hu  was  the  Umperor  of  the  land  and  seas :  so  Noah  was 
the  chief  personage  in  the  ark,  the  only  vessel  which  pre- 
served life  amidst  the  universal  sea ;  and  after  that  sea  had 
subsided,  he  became  the  emperor  of  the  whole  earth. 

flit  was  the  life  of  all  that  are  in  the  world;  thuS,  Noah 
Was  the  common  parent  of  all  nations,  and  of  eniery  indi' 

Arid  lest  wft  should-  retain  any  doubt  as  to  the  age  m 
which  he  lived,  we  are  told,  that  immediately  after  the  de- 
luge, he  first  taught  mankind  the  practice  of  agriculture: 
this  is,  exclusively,  the  history  of  the  patriarch  Noah. 

Yet  we  are  assured,  with  equal  clearness,  that  from  the 
traditional  character  of  this  same  patriarch,  sprung  a  reli- 
gion of  falsehood  and  base  omens  or  a  heathen  religion,  which 
was  directly  contrary  to  Christianity*  Nay,  the  same 
deified  patriarch  was  regarded,  as  the  greatest  God,  and 
viewed  as  riding  on  the  sun-beams,  or  personified  in  the  great 
luminary,  and  operating  In  the  clouds  and  meteors  of 

That  such  a  superstition  should  have  been  fabricated  by 
the  Bards  in  the  middle  ages  of  Christianity,  is  a  supposi- 
tion utterly  irreconcileable  with  ^obability.  We  must, 
therefore,  regard  it  as  a  relic  of  the  old  heathen  superstition 
of  the  country,  which  some  individual  Britons,  with  their 
proverbial  predilection  for  antiquated  notions  and  customs, 
no  less  impiously  than  absurdly  retained. 


But  if  this  be  genuine  British  heathenism,  it  will  he  ex- 
pected, that  the  vestiges  of  it  should  he  discovered  in  the 
oldest  Bards,  which  are  now  extant.  And  here,  in  fact, 
they  present  themselves  in  horrid  profusion.  The  first  in- 
stances I  shall  produce,  are  taken  from  Aneurin's  Gododin,  of 
which  the  reader  will  find  a  translation  in  the  fourth  section 
of  this  Essay. 

The  Bard  is  lamenting  a  dreadful  massacre,  which  hap- 
pened in  the  fifth  century,  near  a  celebrated  heathen  tem- 
ple, which  he  describes  in  these  words  :    • 

"  It  is  an  imperative  duty  to  sing  the  complete  associates, 
"  the  cheerful  ones  of  the  ark  of  the  world.  Hu  was  not 
"  without  his  selection  in  the  circle  of  the  world;  it  was  his 
"  choice  to  have  Eidiol  the  Harmonicus."  * 

Here  we  find,  that  the  selection  of  a  priest  to  preside  in 
this  temple,  was  peculiarly  the  act  and  privilege  of  Hu,  who, 
therefore,  must  have  been  the  chief  God,  to  whom  the  sa- 
cred building  was  dedicated.  And,  as  we  have  already  seen 
that  Hu  was  emphatically  styled  Emperor  of  the  Land  and 
Seas,  the  world  was,  properly  speaking,  his  temple.  Hence 
the  fabric  erected  to  his  honour,  is  denominated  the  Ark  of 
the  world,  alluding  to  the  vessel  in  which  he  had  presided 
over  the  world  of  waters;  and  the  circle  of  the  world,  in  re- 
ference both  to  the  form  of  the  building,  and  to  the  circle 
in  which  his  luminous  emblem,  the  sun,  expatiated  in  the 

With  HUf  I  find  a  goddess  associated,   in  the  Gododin, 

*  Song  24. 


by  the  name  of  KSd— the  Ceto  of  antiquity,  whom  Mr. 
Bryant  and  Mr.  Faber  pionounce  to  be  no  other  than  Ceres 
bi  Isis. 

But  let  us  look  for  these  divinities  under  other  names. 

The  Bard,  when  speaking  of  the  same  great  temple,  has 
the  following  remarkable  passage. 

"  A  structure  was  not  formed,  so  eminently  perfect,  so 
"  great,  so  magnificent,  for  the  strife  of  swords.  In  the  place 
"  where  Morten  preserved  the  merited  fire,  it  cannot  be  denied, 
"  that  corpses  were  seen  by  the  wearer  of  scaly  mail,  who 
*'  was  harnessed  and  armed  with  a  piercing  weapon,  but  co-^ 
"  vered  with  the  skin  of  a  beast.  His  sword  resounded  on 
"  the  head  of  the  chief  singer  of  Woe  and  Eseye,  at  the 
"  great  stone  fence  of  their  common  sanctuary. — Never  more 
'•  did  the  child  of  Teithan  move."  * 

As  the  Bard  has  infonned  us,  that  this  structure  was 
sacred  to  the  god  Hu,  and  the  goddess  Ked;  and  as  he 
now  tells  us,  that  it  was  the  common  sanctuary  of  Nie  and 
Eseye,  it  must  follow,  that  Noe  and  Eseye  were  the  same 
characters  as  Hu  and  Ked. 

Here,  then,  we  have  an  express  authority  for  the  assertion, 
that  Hu  was,  originally  no  otlier  than  the  great  patriarch. 
Not  that  I  suppose  the  heathen  Britons  had  actually  pre- 
served the  name  of  Noah ;  but  that  our  Bard,  who  lived  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  fifth,  and  beginning  of  the  sixth  centuiy, 
had  some  knowledge  of  the  sacrec^  records,  where  he  found 
the  name  and  actions  of  Noah;  and  did  not  want  sufficient 

*  Song  15. 


sagacity  to  discover  the  absolute  identity  of  Noah  and  Hu, 
in  history  and  character.  Thus  we  find  the  ground-work 
of  this  superstition  expressly  ascertained. 

It  may,  therefore,  be  proper  to  exaaiine  a  little  further, 
the  titles  and  attributes  which  this  Bard  assigns  to  the  dei- 
fied patriarch. 

In  the  passage  before  us,  we  find  Morien  preserving  the 
merited  fire.  Whether  this  is  a  title  of  the  god  or  his  priest, 
or  of-both,  I  leave  others  to  determine.  The  name  seems 
to  be  equivalent  to  Janm  Marinus.  In  another  place,  the 
Bard  ascribes  the  building  of  the  temple  to  him.  "  This 
"  hall  would  not  have  been  made  so  impregnable,  had  not 
"  Morien  been  equal  to  Caradoc." — He  was  also  its  pro- 

"  Morien  defended  the  blessed  sanctuary,  the  basis  and 
"  the  chief  place  of  distribution  of  the  source  of  energy,  oi 
"  the  most  powerful  and  the  most  ancient."  * 

^xi  the  passage  first  cited,  Hu  is  styled  Teitfian ;  for  his 
chief  singer  is  the  child  of  Teithan ;  and  this  name  seems 
to  be  no  other  than  the  Titin  of  the  Hiberno-Celtae,  the 
Tydain  of  Taliesin  and  the  Triads,  and  the  Titan  of  anti- 
quity— a  known  title  of  the  sun. 

With  allusion  to  this  divinity,  Aneurin  says — *<  And 
"  now  the  lofty  leader,  Huan,  (the  sun)  is  about  to  ascend : 
the  sovereign  most  glorious — the  lord  of  the  British  isle.'' f 

•  Song  16. 
■i  Ibid.  6. 


It  scarcely  needs  to  be  remarked,  that  Huati  is  a  deriva^ 
tive  of  Hu,  to  whom  the  sovereignty  of  the  British  Isle  is 
expressly  attributed,  by  Taliesin, 

We  have  seen  that  the  ox  or  hull  is  the  appropriate  at- 
tribute of  Hu,  and  accordingly,  Aneurin  styles  his  chosen 
priest,  the  radiant  bull  of  battle.  This  is,  properly,  a 
title  of  the  god  himself,  and  conferred,  as  usual,  upon  his 
minister.  But  the  host  who  fought  under  the  conduct  of 
this  priest,  are  denominated  JBiw  Beli  bloeddvawr,  the  herd 
of  the  roaring  Beli.  *  Hence  it  appears,  that  Hu  and  Beli 
constituted  but  one  character.  Yet  the  latter  is  certainly 
the  Celtic  god.  Belinus,  mentioiied  by  Ausonius,  and  ex- 
pressly identified  with  Apollo,  the  solar  divinity. 

In  allusion  to  the  sun's  progress  in  the  ecliptic,  Aneurin 
styles  this  god,  the  lion  of  the  greatest  course.  He  has  also 
the  name  of  Budd,  Victory,  and  Buddugre,  the  "  god  of 
"  victory,  the  king  zoho  rises  in  light,  and  ascends  the  sky/'-f 

Hu,  or  his  mythological  son,  is  called  Angor,  the  pro- 
ducer of  good,  the  serpent  who  pierces  the  sullen  ones, 
Angor  implies  undeviating :  and  this  Angor  has  the  name  of 
Meiin,  Marine,  and  is  the  son  of  Mad-ien,  Bonus  Janus, 
who  is  also  called  Seithenin,  a  little  of  Saturn,  as  I  shall  shew 
hereafter.  Saturn  and  Janus  are  the  same,  and  the  cha- 
racter is  referred  by  mythologists,  to  the  patriarch  Noah. 

Again  it  is  said  of  the  chosen  priest  of  Hu,  "  The  placid 
"  Eidiol  felt  the  heat  of  the  splendid  GrannawxJ'Jl.  This 
title,  as  well  as  Granwyn,  in  the  poems  of  Taliesin,  is  re- 

•  Song  15. 
+  Ibid.  22. 
i  Ibid.  a5i 


ferabl6  to  Apollo  or  the  Sun>  whose  attributes  are,  therefore, 
ascribed  to  the  British  Hu. 

Upon  the  whole,  it  appears  from  this  Bard,  that  Hu  the 
•  Mighty,  the  Diluvian  god  of  the  heathen  Britons,  was  no 
other  than  the  patriarch  Noah,  deified  by  his  apostate  de- 
scendants, and  regarded  by  a  wild  superstition,  as  some  way 
connected  with  the  sun,  or  symbolized  by  the  great  lumi- 
nary of  the  material  heavens.  Hence  the  bull,  the  lion, 
the  serpent,  and  other  general  emblems  of  the  Heliodcemo- 
niac  worship,  became  his  representatives  upon  earth. 

But  Taliesin  is  universally  acknowledged  by  the  Welsh, 
as  the  most  profound  teacher  of  their  ancient  superstition. 
This  Bard  avows  himself  of  the  order  of  the  Druids, 
and  expressly  characterizes  the  mystical  effusions  of  his 
musej  by  the  name  of  Dawn  y  Derwyddon,  Lore  of  the 
Druids,  It  may,  therefore,  be  of  importance  to  our  subject, 
to  consider  his  representation  of  the  character  of  Hu. 

In  the  first  place,  then,  I  shall  remark  a  few  particulars, 
,  in  an  elegy  which  he  composed  on  the  death  of  a  priest  of 
Hu,  whom  he  calls  Aeddon,  which  I  think,   was  a  title  of 
the  god  himself.     This  priest  had  presided  in  Mona,  as  ap- 
pears from  the  opening  of  the  poem.* 

"  Disturbed  is  the  isknd  of  the  praise  of  Hu,  the  island 
"  of  the  severe  remunerator;  even  Mona  of  the  gene- 
"  rous  bowls,  which  animate  vigour — the  island  whose 
^'  barrier  is  the  Menai." 

Mona  was  a  well-known  seat  of  the  Druids,    Many  have 

•  Appendix,  No.  10. 


regarded  it  as  the  great  centre  of  their  superstition.  Yet 
this  sacred  spot,  we  find,  was  eminently  dedicated  to  the 
honour  of  Hit,  as  the  principal  object  of  adoration.  To 
this  severe  remunerator  the  island  belonged  ;  and  here  his 
votaries  quaffed  the  generous  bowl,  in  his  sacred  festivals : 
they  must,  therefore,  have  regarded  him  as  the  god  who 
presided  over  drinking. 

Taliesin,'  one  of  the  chief  of  his  votaries,  in  the  beginning 
of  the  sixth  century,  cannot  be  supposed  to  have  devised, 
either  the  character  or  the  honours  of  this  god.  What  he 
has  delivered  to  us,  must  have  been  what  he  learned  from 
his  predecessors  in  superstition ;  and  Hu  must  have  been 
the  great  god  of  Mona,  in  the  earlier  ages  of  Druidism. 

It  appears  by  the  sequel  of  this  poem,  that  the  priest  of 
Hu  had  the  charge  of  a  sacred  Ark,  and  that  Aeddon,  that 
is,  the  god  himself,  had  come  from  the  land  of  Gwydion, 
(Hermes)  into  the  strong  island  of  Seon,  at  the  time  of  the 
deluge,  and  had  brought  his  friends  safe  through  that  dread- 
ful calamity.  Here  we  have  a  curious  mythological  account 
of  the  flood,  which  shews,  that  the  original  history  of  Hu 
was  purely  Diluvian. 

Hu,  the  lord  of  Mona,  is  again  styled  the  severe  inspec- 
tor. He  has  the  title  of  Buddwas,  the  dispenser  of  good, 
the  dragon  chief,  the  proprietor,  and  the  rightful  claimant 
of  Britain. 

The  Bard  then  proceeds  to  recite  the  long  toil  of  the  jud 
ones,  upon  the  sea  which  had  no  shore,  and  their  ultimate 
deliverance,  as  the  reward  of  their  integrity;  where  it  is 
clearly  intimated,  that  Hu,  or  Aeddon,  was  the  leader  of 
this  righteous  band. 


In  another  poem,*  Taliesin  introduces  this  Diluvian  god 
by  the  name  of  Deon,  the  distributer,  who  had  bestowed 
upon  hiin,  as  his  chief  priest  and  vicegerent,  the  sovereignty. 
of  Britain.  In  the  age  of  our  Bard,  this  could  have  been 
nothing  more  than  conferring  an  empty  title :  but  we  may 
hence  infer,  that  the  chief  Druid,  during  the  high  day  of 
tiis  authority,  had  claimed  and  exercised  the  power  imr 
plied  by  this  title ;  and  that  the  god  who  invested  him  with 
this  high  privilege,  was  the  chief  object  of  his  homage. 

In  this  poem,  the  honours  of  Hu  are  connected  with 
those  of  a  goddess,  named  KSd,  or  Ceridwen,  of  whom  I 
shall  say  more  hereafter. 

We  next  find  the  ox,  the  attribute  of  Hu,  stationed 
before  a  lake,  at  the  time  of  a  solemn  procession:  an 
eagle,  another  of  his  symbols,  is  carried  aloft  in  the  air, 
in  the  path  of  Gramvyn,  the  pervading  sovereign  (the 
sun).  This  divinity  is  styled  Hewr  Eirian,  the  splendid 
mover.  The  descriptions  throughout  this  poem,  are  full  of 
allusions  to  the  deluge ;  and  the  draining  of  the  generous 
bowl  is  eminently  conspicuous  amongst  the  rites  of  the  sa- 
cred festival.  ■\ 

Another  poem  mentions  Pen  Annwvn,  the  ruler  of  the. 
deep,  who  is  evidently  the  same  as  Hu,  the  emperor  of  the 
seas.  This  piece  is  full  of  the  mythology  of  the  deluge; 
and  the  Bard  or  Druid  who  violated  his  oath,  after  haying 
drank  out  of  the  cauldron  of  this  ruler  of  the  deep,  was 
doomed  to  destruction. ;{: 

*  Appendix,  No.  1. 
■f  Ibid.  No.  2. 
%  Ibid.  No.  3. 


The  poem  called  Cadair  leyrn  On,*  brings  the  solar  di- 
vinity, or  Celtic  Apollo,  upon  the  stage  :  and  we  find,  by 
the  extract  which  I  have  subjoined,  f  that  he Vas  actually 
worshipped  under  the  character  of 'Fms.  Yet  tJiis  ardent 
god  boasts,  that  he  could  protect  his  chair  of  presidency 
in  the  midst  of  a  general  deluge.  He  is,  therefore,  the 
same  character  as  the  Diliivian  Hu,  or  the  patriarch  sym- 
bolized by  the  sun. 

The  divinity  who  presides  in  the  sacred  ox-stall,  and  is 
personified  in  the  bull,  Beer  Lied,  is  styled  the  supreme 
proprietor,  ai^id'has  his  sanctuary  in  an  island  surrounded  by 
the  tide.  J  Supreme  proprietor  is  the  title  of  Hu,  and  the 
ox  or  bull  is  his  symbol. 

In  the  former  part  of  the  poem,  called  the  Elegy  of 
Uthr  Pendragon,  §  that  is,  wonderful  supreme  leader,  or 
Znonderful  chief  dragon,  this  god  is  introduced  in  pageantry, 
and  describes  himself  as  the  god  of  rear,  the  &therial,  hav- 
ing the  rainbczv  for  his  girdle.  He  is  a  protector  in  dark- 
ness, a  ploughman,  a  defender  of  his  sanctuary,  and  a  van- 
quisher of  giants.  It  is  he  who  imparts  to  heroes  a  portion 
of  his  own  prowess.  He  is  an  enchanter,  and  the  president 
of  Haeai'ndor,  the  vessel  with  the  iron  door,  which  toiled  to 
the  top  of  the  hill.  He  was  yoked  as  an  ox,  he  was  pa- 
tient in  affliction — he  became  the  father  of  all  th^  tribes  of 
the  earth.    He  was  a  Bard  and  a,  musician. 

Such  are  the  impertinencies  with  which  superstition  con- 

*  Appendix,  No.  4. 
+  Ibid.  No.  5. 
i  Ibid.  No.  6. 
J  Ibid.  No,  H, 


contaminated  the  history  and  character  of  the  venerable 

In  the  second  part  of  this  poeim,  a  sacrificing  priest  in- 
vokes this  god  with  a  prayer  for  me  prosperity  of  Britain. 
He  styles  him  Hu,  with  the  expanded  wings — Father, 
and  King  of  Bards — Father  D'eon,  presiding  in  the  mundane 
circle  of  stones. 

He  is  again  named  Prydain — the  glancing  Hu — the  sove- 
feign  of  heaven— Xhe.  gliding  king — the  dragon,  and  the 
victorious  Belt,  Lord  of  the  Honey  Island,  or  Britain. 

In  the  song  called  Gwawd  LlMd  y  Mawr,  the  praise  of 
the  great  leader,  the  Bard  professes  to  have  derived  his 
mystic  lore  from  the  traditions  of  the  distinguished  Ogdoad, 
by  which  he  means  the  Arkites,  or  eight  persons  who  had 
been  preserved  in  the  sacred  ship.  This  piece  contains  the 
mythology  of  the  deluge,  together  with  some  pretended 
vaticinations  relating  to  subsequent  times. 

The  chief  of  the  Diluvians,  and  therefore  //m  the  Mighty, 
is  styled  Cadrmladr,  the  supreme  disposer  of  battle,  and 
described  as  a  Druid.  He  is  attended  by  a  spotted  cow, 
which  procured  blessings.  .On  a  serene  day  she  belloreed,  1 
suppose  as  a  warning  presage  of  the  deluge;  and  after- 
wards, she  was  boiled,  or  sacrificed,  on  May  eve,  the  season 
in  which  British  mythology  commemorated  the  egress  from 
the  ark.  The  spot  where  she  was  sacrificed,  afforded  rest  to 
the  deified  patriarch,  who  is  here  styled  Yssadawr,  the  con- 
sumer or  sacrificer. 

.  Appendix,  No.  12, 


The  same  personage  has  the  name  of  Gwarthmor,  ruler 
of  the  sea,  Menwyd  the  blessed,  and  the  dragon  ruler  of  the 
world.  He  was  the  constructor  of  K^d,  the  ark,  which 
passed  the  grievous  waters,  stored  with  corn,  and  was  borne 
aloft  bif  serpents. 

Hence  the  symbolical  ape,  the  stall  of  the  cow,  and  the 
mundane  rampart,  or  circular  temple,  are  consecrated  to  the 
Diluvian  god,  and  his  vessel ;  and  the  season  of  their  fes- 
tive dance,  is  proclaimed  by  the  cuckoo. 

The  Arkite  god  is  called  th6  father  of  K&d,  the  ark, 
which  is  represented  as  an  animal,  I  suppose  Kdto?,  the 
whale,  investing  the  Bard  with  the  sovereignty  of  Britain. 
We  have  already  seen  this  prerogative  exercised  by  Hit, 
the  Diluvian  god:  Ked  must  therefore  have  acted  in  con- 
junction with  the  mystical  father. 

The  same  god  is  the  sovereign  of  boundless  dominion,  in 
whose  presence  our  priest  trembles  before  the  coverings 
stone,  in  order  to  escape  the  quagmire  of  hell. 

Another  poem*  styles  this  Diluvian  god  the  reaper,  in 
allusion  to  the  patriarch's  character  as  a  husbandman.  His 
priest  has  the  name  of  Aedd,  a  title  of  the  god  himself. 
He'had  died  and  livefL  alternately ;  and  it  was  his  privilege 
to  carry  the  ivy  branch,  with  which,  Dionysius  says,  the 
Britons  covered  themselves  in  celebrating  the  rites  of 

To  the  particulars  here  recited,  the  mythological  reader, 
if  he  takes  the  pains  to  peruse  the^j)issages  to  which  I 

•  Appendix.  No.  13. 

refer,  will  be  able  to  add  many  circumstances  equally  perti- 
nent. But  what  I  have  here  produced  may  suffice  to  shew, 
that  our  ancestors  paid  an  idolatrous  homage  to  a  great 
patriarch,  who  had  been  preserved  from  a  general  deluge ; 
that  they  regarded  this  deified  mortal  as  symbolized  by  the 
Buii,  or  in  some  manner  identified  with  him ;  and  that  this 
compound  divinity  was  regarded  as  thjeir  chief  god. 

But  as  Caesar  has  informed  us,  that  the  opinion  of  the 
Druids  corresponded  in  the  main  with  that  of  other  nations, 
respecting  the  nature  and  attributes  of  the  Gods,  it  will  be 
asked,  with  which  of  the  gods  of  antiquity  is  this  helio- 
patriarchal  divinity  to  be  identified  ? 

To  those  who  have  studied  mythology  only  in  a  common 
school  pantheon,  in  the  works  of  Homer,  or  in  the  Latin 
poets,  my  answer  to  such  a  question  may  not  prove  perfectly 

The  mythology  of  the  Britons  was  of  a  character  some- 
,what  more  antique  than  that  of  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  as 
we  find  it  in  their  best  writers.  The  poets  and  sculptors  of 
these  nations  refined  upon  Gentile  superstition,  and  repre- 
sented each  of  their  gods  with  his  own  appropriate  figure, 
and  with  a  character  elegantly  distinct :  whereas  the  ^14 
religion  of  the  nations  contemplated  the  objects  of  adora- 
tion as  referable  to  one  history,  and  represented  them  as 
grouped  in  one  compound  body,  marking  the  various  rela- 
tions, operations,  and  attributes  of  their  divinity,  by  a 
multitude  of  heads,  arms,  and  ornaments,  with  which  they 
graced  their  principal  idol.  Thus,  the  Helio-Arkite  god  of 
the  Britons  comprehended,  in  his  own  person,  most  of  the 
gods  which  pertained  to  their  superstition. 

'■    Upon  this  subject,  I  shall  produce  the  opinion  of  Mr. 

"  The  first  writers,"  says  this  great  mythologist,  "  were 
"  the  poets ;  and  the  mischief  (of  polytheism)  began  with 
"  them :  for  they  first  infected  tradition,  and  mixed  it  with 
"  allegory  and  fable.  The  greatest  abuses  (says  Anaxa- 
"  goras,  Legat.)  of  true  knowledge  came  from  them.  I 
"  insist,  that  we  owe  to  Orpheus,  Homer,  and  Hesiod,  the 
."  fictitious  names  and  genealogies  of  the  pagan  daemons, 
"  whom  they  are  pleased  to  call  gods :  and  I  can  produce 
"  Herodotus  to  witness  what  I  assert.  He  informs  us 
"  (L.  n.  c.  53.)  that  Homer  and  Hesiod  were  about  400 
"  years  before  himself,  and  not  more.  These,"  says  he, 
"  were  the  persons  who  first  framed  the  theogony  of  the 
"  Greeks,  and  gave  appellations  to  their  deities,  and  dis- 
'■'  tinguished  them,  according  to  their  several  ranks  and  de- 
"  partments.  They,  at  the  same  time,  described  them  under 
"  different  appearances :  for,  till  their  time,  there  was  not  in 
"  Greece  any  representation  of  the  gods,  either  in  sculpture 
"  or  painting;  nor  any  spzcimen  of  the  statuary's  ar^  exhi- 
"  bited :  no  such  substitutes  were  in  those  times  thought 
«  of."* 

Again— "  The  blindness  of  the  Greeks,  ia  regard  to 
"  their  own  theology,  and  to  that  of  the  countries  from 
"  whence  they  borrowed,  led  them  to  multiply  the  terms 
"  which  they  had  received,  and  to  make  a  god  out  of  every 
"  title:  But  however  thiy  may  have  separated  and  distin- 
'f  guished  them  under  different  personages,  they  are  all 
"  plainly  resolvable  into  one  deity,  the  sun.  The  same  is 
"  to  be  observed,  as  to  the  gods  of  the  Romans."-^— 

•  Analysis,  V.  I,  p.  160. 


"  There  was  by  no  means,  originally,  that  diversity  of  gods 
"  which  is  imagined,  as  Sir  John  Marsham  has  very  justly 
"  observed.     Neque  enim  tanta  woXuSeotd;  Gentium,  quanta 

"  fuit  Deorum  m>.vmvii.i«," "  Pluto,   amongst  the  best 

"  theologists,  was  esteemed  thesame  as  Jupiter ;  and  indeed 

"  the  same  as  every   other  deity."- "  Porphyry  (ap. 

"  Euseb.)  acknowledged,  that  Vesta,  Rhea,  Ceres,  Themis, 
"  Priapus,  Proserpine,  Bacchus,  Attis  Adonis,  Silenus,  and, 
"  the  Satyrs,  were  all  one  and  the  same.  Nobody  had 
^'  examined  the  theology  of  the  ancients  more  deeply  than 
"  Porphyry :  he  was  a  determined  pagan :  and  his  evidence 
"  in  this  point  is  unexceptionable."  * 

To  these  passages  I  shall  subjoin  the  following!  fjCom 
Mr.  Faber.  "  Osiris,  Bacchus,  Cronus,  Pluto,  Adonis,  and 
"  Hercules,  taken  in  one  point  of  view,  as  will  be  shewn 
"  at  large  hereafter,  are  all  equally  the  sun;  but  if  we  exa- 
"  mine  their  respective  histories,  and  attentively  consider 
"  the  actions  which  are  ascribed  to  them,  we  shall  be  con- 
"  vinced,  that  in  their  human  capacity,  they  can  each  be 
"  no  other  than  the  great  patriarch."  ■^ 

"  If  the  several  histories  of  the  principal  deities,  revered 
"  by  most  of  the  ancient  nations,  be  considered,  we  shall 
"  find  them  at  once  allusive  to  the  Sabian  idolatry,  and  to 
"  the  catastrophe  of  the  deluge.  Thus  the  account  which 
"  is  given  of  Osiris  and  Isis,  if  taken  in  one  point  of  view, 
"  directs  our  attention  to  the  sun  and  moon;  but  if  in 
"  another,  it  places  immediately  before  our  eyes  the  great 
"  patriarch,  and  the  vessel  in  which  he  was  preserved. 
"  Accordingly,  we  learn  from  Plutarch,  that  Osiris  was  a 

*  Analysis,  V.  I.  p.  307,  309,  310,  316. 
+  Mysteries  of  the  Cabiii,  V.  I.  p.  17. 


"  hnsbanclman,  a  legislator,  and  a  zealous  adVaCate  for  the 
"  worship  of  the  gods;  that  Typhori,  or  the- s?a,  con* 
"  spired  against  him,  and  compelled  him  to  enter  into  an 
«  ark/'  &c  * 

Such  being  the  result  of  the  most  elaborate  iaqtiiries 
which  have  been  made  into  the  theology  of  the  Gentiles,  I 
may  be  allowed  to  assert,  that  the  HelicArkite  god  of  the 
Britons  was  a  Pantheos,  who,  under  his  several  titles  and 
attributes,  comprehended  the  group  of  superior  gods,  which 
the  Greeks  and  other  refined  nations  separated  and  arranged 
as  distinct  personages. 

As  in-oentor  of  the  few  arts  with^  which  the  Druids  were 
acquainted,  and  as  the  conductor  of  the  primitive  race  to 
their  respective  settlements,  he  was  their  Mercury. 

As  the  solar  divinity,  and  god  of  light,  he  was  their  Beli^ 
fxx  Apollo. 

As  King  of  Heaven,  he  was  their  Jupiter. 

As  supreme,  disposer  of  battle,  he  was  their  Marsi  and  as 
ruler  of  the  waters,  he  was  their  Neptune.    And  thus  Caesar- 
might  discover,  in  the  superstition  of  the  Druids,  all  the 
gods  of  his  own  pantheon,  with  their  distinct  attributes. 

But  as  giver  of  wine  and  generous  liquor,  and  as  president 
of  festive  carousals,  which  is  his  favourite  picture  amongst 
the  Bfirds,  he  was  certainly  that  Bacchus,  whose  rites,  ac- 
cording to  pionysius,  were  duly  celebrated  in  the  British 
islands.     Under  this  chai-acter,  he  appropriates  the  title  of 

•  Mysleiies  of  the  Cabiti,  V.  I,  p.  151. 


Hu,  which  is  precisely  the  'r-m,  or  'r-nrof  antiquity,  without 
the  termination.  His  two  great  symbols,  the  bull  and  th© 
dragon,  so  often  introduced,  come  under  the  same  point 
of  view. 

"  I  haVe  obsierved,"  says  Mr.  Faber,  "  that  Bacchus,  or 
"  Diontisus,  was  one  of  the  many  titles  of  the  Helio- 
"  Arkite  Noah:  accordingly,  in  his  person,  the  two  em- 
"  blems  at  present  under  consideration  (the  bull  and  the 
"  dragon)  will  be  founcj.  to  be  eminently  united.  The 
"  Athenians,  as  we  learn  from  ^maw,  worshipped  him  as 
"  the  son  of  Jupiter  and  "Proserpine. — ^Jupiter,  however, 
"  accomplished  the  rape  of  Proserpine,  under  the  figure  of 
"  a  dragon ;  and  Bacchus  is  universally  described  as  bearing 
"  some  resemblance  to  a  bull.  Hence  we  shall  see  the 
"  reason  why,  in  the  Bacchic  mysteries,  the  bull  was  ce- 
"  lebrated  as  the  parent  of  the  dragon,  and  the  dragon  as 
"  the  parent  of  the  bull. 

"  The  whole  history,  indeed,  of  Bacchus,  is  full  of  al- 

"  lusions  to  the  symbols  of  the  bull  and  the  serpent.' 

"  Thus  Euripides  introduces  a  chorus  of  Bacchantes,  in- 
"  viting  him  to  appear  in  the  shape  of  a  bull,  a  dragon,  or 
"  a  Hon.— — And  thus  the  author  of  the  Orphic  hymns 
"  styles  him,  the  deity  with  two  horns,  having  the  head  of 
"  a  bull,  even  Mars-Dionusas,  reverenced  in  a  double  form, 
"  and  adored,  in  conjunction  with  a  beautiful  star. — ■ — For 
"  the  same  reason,  Plutarch  inquires,  why  the -women  of 
"  Elis  were  accustomed  to  invoke  Bacchus,  in  the  words  of 
**  the  following  hymn : 

"  Come,  hero  Dionusus,  to  thy  holy  temple  on  the  sea 
"  shore;  come,  heifer-footed  deity,  to  thy  sacrifice,  and 


"  hung  the  graces  in  thy  train !  Hear  us,  O  buU,  worthy 
"  of  our  veneration :  hear  us,  O  illustrious  bull!" 

"  Aft&r  atjiempting  to  solve"  this  question,  in  a  variety  of 
"  different  ways,  he  concludes  with  asking,  whether  the 
"  title  of  bull  might  not  be  given  to  Bacchus,  on  account 
"  of  his  being  the  inventor  and  patron  of  agriculture."  * 

It  appears,  then,  that  the  bull  and  the  dragon  were 
symbols,  eminently  conspicuous  in  the  worship  and  rites 
of  Bacchus ;  and  it  may.  hence  be  presumed,  that  the  very 
frequent  introduction  qf  them  in  the  British  Bards,  alludes 
to  the  worship  of  their  Helio-Arkite  god,  considered  in , 
that  character. 

To  the  British  rites  of  this  divinity,  I  think  the  tradition, 
respecting  the  oxen  of  Hu,  drawing  the  Avanc  out  of  the 
lake,  has  a  marked  reference.  It  will  therefore  be  proper, 
in  order  to  catch  a  glimpse  of  those  rites,  to  consider  the 
British  mythology  of  oxen,  lakes,  and  islands,  embosomed  in 

Of  all  the  objects  of  ancient  superstition,  there  is  none 
which  has  taken  such  hold  of  the  populace  of  Wales,  as  the 
celebrated  oxen  of  Hu.  Their  fame  is  still  vigorous  in  every 
corner  of  the  principality,  as ,  far,  at  least,  as  the  Welsh  has  maintained  its  ground,  Few  indeed  pretend 
to  tell  us  precisely,  what  the  Ychen  Banawg  were,  or  what 
the  Avanc  was,  which  they  drew  out  of  the  lake. 

Mr.  Owen  explains  Banawg — prominent,  conspicuous,  not~ 
able.    And  tradition  tells  us,  that  the  oxen,  which  appro- 

•  MjTst.  of  tUe  Cabiri,  V,  I.  p.  190,  ka.  with  the  author's  authoijjies. 


priated  this  epithet,  were  of  an  extraordijaary  siie,  and  that 
they  were  subjected  to  the  sacred  yoke.  I  have  also  several 
reasons  to  suppose,  that  in  Pagan  Britain,  some  rites  in 
commemoration  of  the  deluge,  and  in  which  the  agency  of 
sacred  oxen  was  employetl,  were  periodically  celebratedj 
on  the  borders  of  several  lakes. 

la  Replying  to  a  tale,  which  seems  utterly  impossible,  we 
Use  an  old  adage,  which  says.  The  Ychen  Banawg  cannot 
draw  the  Avanc  out  of  deep  waters.  This  imports,  that  they 
could  draw  him  out  of  waters  of  a  certain  depth.  And  po- 
pular and  local  traditions  of  such  an  atchievement,  are  cur- 
rent all  over  Wales.  There  is  hardly  a  lake  in  the  princi- 
pality which  is  not  asserted  in  the  neighbourhood,  to  be 
that  where  this  feat  was  performed.  Such  general  traditions 
of  the  populace  must  have  arisen  from  some  ceremony, 
which  was  familiar  to  their  ancestors.  And  this  ceremony 
seems  to  have  been  performed  with  several  heathenish  rites. 
Mr.  Owen  tells  us  there  is  a  strange  piece  of  music,  still 
known  to  a  few  persons,  called  Cainc  yr  Ychain  Banawg, 
which  was  intended  as  an  imitation  of  the  lowing  of  the 
oxen,  and  the  rattling  of  the  chains,  in  drawmg  the  Avanc 
out  of  the  lake.  * 

The  beasts  which  the  Druids  employed  in  this  rite,  were 
probably  bulls  of  the  finest  breed  which  the  country  afforded, 
but  distinguished,  either  by  the  size  of  their  horns,  or  by 
some  peculiar  mark,  and  set  apart  for  sacred  use. 

^y  A-vanc,  we  generally  understand  the  beaver,  though  in 
the  present  instance,  tradition  makes  it  an  animal  of  pro- 


•  Wehb  Eng.  Pict.  V.  Banowj . 


digioTis  bulk  and  force.  In  this  druidical  fable,  the  Avane 
seems  to  be,  ultimately,  referable  to  the  patriarch  himself,  or 
to  the  ark,  considered  as  his  shrine,  and  supposed  to  have 
been  extricated  from  the  waters  of  the  deluge>  by  the  aid  of 
the'saered  o3fen. 

I  once  thought  the  story  contained  only  a  mythological 
allusibn  to-  the  sacrifice  of  oxen  offered  by  Noah,  when  he 
obtained  a  promise,  that  the  waters  should  no  more  return  to 
cover  the  earth.  :  And  l^is  idea  seems  to  be  countenanced, 
by  a  passage  of  Taliesin,  already  cited,  and  importing,  that 
the  diluvian  patriarch-  found  rest-  upon  the  spot,  where  the 
spotted  comzoas  boiled  or  sacr^ed.  But  it  appears,  by  the  va- 
rious notices  respecting  these  oxen,  and  by  general  analogy, 
that  our  superstitious  ancestors  had  some  further  allusions. 
Let  us  hear  what  is  said  of  the  animals,  by  mythologists. 

Mr.  Bryant  Vvas  decidedly  of  opinion,  that  the  bulls  and 
oxen  of  mythology  had  constant  reference  to  Noah,  to  the 
ark,  or  to  the  history  qftlie  deluge. 

"  It  is  said'  of  the  patriarch,  after  the  deluge,  that  he 
"  became  an  husbandman.  This  circumstance  was  reli- 
"  giously  recorded  in  all  the  ancient  histories  of  Egypt. 
*'  An  ox  so  usefal  in  husbandry,  was,  I  imagine  upon  this 
"  account,  made  an  emblem  of  the  patriarch.  Hence,  upon 
".  many^  pieces  of  ancient  sculpture,  are  seen  the  ox's:  head, 
"  with  the  Egyptian  modius  between  his  horns;  and  not 
"  only  so,  but  the  living  animal  was  in  many  places,  held 
"  sacrid,  and  revered  as  a  deit^."*  j 

•  Analys.  V.  II.  p.  417. 


The  author  then  proceeds  to  shew,  that  the  sacred  bulls, 
Apis  and  Mnevis,  referred  to  the  history  of  the  same  patriarch. 

Again — "  Bulk  were  sacred  to  Osiris  (who  was  Noah) 
"  the  great  husbandman.  They  were  looked  upon  as  living 
"  oracles,  and  real  deities,  and  to  be  in  a  manner,  ani- 
"  mated  by  the  soul  of  the  personage,  whom  they  repre- 
"  sented."* 

"  Symbolical  imagery,  observes  Mr.  Fabef,  was  very 
"  much  in  use  among  the  ancients,  and  will  be  found  to 
"  provide  (q.  pervade  ?)  the  whole  of  their  heterogeneous 
"  mythology.  A  heifer  seems  to  have  been  adopted,  as 
"  perhaps,  the  most  usual  emblem  of  the  ark,  and  a  ser- 
"  pent  as  that  of  the  sun ;  while  the  great  patriarch  him- 
"  self  was  sometimes  worshipped  under  the  form  of  a  bull^ 
"  and  sometimes,  in  consequence  of  his  union  with  the  sun, 
"  hieroglyphically  described  as  a  serpent,  having  the  head  of 
"  a  bull"  t 

And  this  superstition  comes  into  contact  with  the  Celtic 
nations,  and  is  brought  near  to  our  British  ancestors. 

"  With  regard  to  the  devotion  of  the  Hyperboreans,  to 
"  the  arliite  mysterieS)  we  are  plainly  informed  by  Diony- 
"  sius,  that  the  rites  of  Bacchus,  or.  Noah,  were  duly  ce- 
"  lebrated  in  Britain.  Hence  arose  their  veneration  for 
"  the  bull,  the  constant  ^mbol  of  the  deity  of  the  ark. 

"  By  this  god,  made  of  brass,  says  Dr.  Borlase,  the 
"  Cimbri,  Tentones,  and  Jmbrmes,  swore  to  observe  the 

K  2 

'  Analys.  V.  II.  p.  422. 

+  Myst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  177, 


"  articles  of  capitulation,    granted  to  tlie  Roman*,  Vfhif 

'■'  defended  the  Adige'  against  them.     After  their  defeat, 

"  Catulus  ordered  this  bull  to  be  carried  to  his  own  house, 

"  there  to  remain,  as  the  most  glorious  monument  of  his 

"  victory.      This   god  is  ranked  w^ith  Jupiter,  Esus,   and 

"  Vulcans  being  called  Tareos  Tiigaranui,  from  the  three 

"  cra«ei*l)erching,  one  on  his  head,  one  on  the  middle  of 

"  his  back,  and  the  third  on  his  hinder  parts,"  * 

I  cannot  help  thinking,  that  the  people  who  named  this 
biill,  Spoke  a  language  very  similar  to  our  Cambro-British  : 
for  Tarw  Trimranus  is  Welsh  for  a  bull  viith  three  cranes. 
And  the  idol  itself  seems  to  be  connected  with  British  su- 
perstition, as  I  shall  shew  hereafter,  that  the  chief  priest, 
who  attended  the  arkite  mysteries,  was  styled  Garanhir,  the 
lofty  'crane.  Hence  the  three  cranes  may  have  represented 
three  officiating  priests. 

We  have  already  seen,  that  certain  oxen  or  bulls,  were 
assigned  to  Hu,  the  Diluvian  god  of  the  Britons,  as  his 
ministers  or  attendants. 

I  shall  now  examine-  whether  there  are  any  traces  of  evi- 
dence in  the  documents  left  us  by  our  ancestors,  that  the 
god  himself  was  venerated  under  the  form  of  this  animal. 

A,hd  first  of  all,  I  shall  consider  a  few  aotices,  which  are 
scattered  ia  the  mytholog'ical  Triads. 

tVe  are  here  informed  of  three  primary  oxen  of  Britain : 
the  first  of  which  was,  Melyn  Gwanwyn,  the  yellow  ox  of 
the  spring;  the  next  was  Gmneu,  Ych  Gwlwlydd,  the  broan 

•  Mjst.  of  thoCabiri,  V.  I,  p.  SIO.— Ajjtiq.  of  CorQwall,  B.  11.  C.  16. 



ox,  vohich  stqpped  the  channel,  and  the  third  Ych  Brych,  bids 
el  bearhwif,  the  briiidlefi  ox  with  the  thick  headband.* 

The  yellow  ox  of  the  spring,  I  make  no  doubt  is  the  sign 
Taunis,  into  which  the  sun  entered  at  the  season  when  tlie 
Druids  celebrated  their  great  arkite  mysteries.  Mr.  Faber 
has  shpwri,  that  the  bull  of  the  sphere,  in  general  mythology, 
was  the  god  of  the  ark.j-  And  the  mythology  of  Britain 
did  not  differ  essentially  from  that  of  other  nations. 

The  ox  which  stopped  the  channel,  seems  to  have  some 
reference  to  the  oxen  pf  Hu,  which  prevented  the  repeti- 
tion of  the  deluge.  Of  the  third  notice,  I  shall  have  oc- 
casion to  speak  hereafter.  ;j: 

That  the  oxen  and  bulls  of  mythology  implied  the  saipe 
thing,  will  be  granted :  and  I  find  that  the  Triads  mention 
three  bulls  of  battle.  ^  The  first  of  them  is  styleA  Cynvawr 
Cad  Gaddug,  mab  Cyrniyd  Cynvydion :  that  is,  the  primor- 
dial great  one,  of  the  contest  of  mystery,  son  of  the  prior 
world,  of  former-  inliabitants.  This  elaborate  title,  evidently 
poiats  to  that  personage,  who  was  son  of  the  antedi- 
luvians, an  inhabitant  of  the  fojmer  world,  and  the 
great  patriarch  of  the  new.  He  was  the  bulj,  Mars- 
Dionusus  of  the  Orphic  poet.  And,  as  the  great  one  of 
the  mystery,  he  was  no  other  than  the  Mighty  IIu  of  the  Bri- 
tons.— The  introduction  of  Cad  Gaddug  into  his  title,  brings 
forward  his  other  great  symbol.  Prydydd  Bychan,an  eminent 
Bard  of  the  thirteenth  century,  says — Dragon  gyrcMad  Cad 
Gaddug.    The  dragon  repairs  to  tlie  battle  of  mystery. 

•  See  W.  Arcliaiology,  V.  IL  p.  21  and  80. 
+  Mjst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  1.  p.  S06. 
-   -J-  See  Appeqdix,  No.  3. 

j.  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  4.  72.  7^, 


If  I  am  not  mistaken,  this  bull  of  battle  is  recognized  topott 
some  of  the  ancient  altars  remaining  in  Britain.  The  Bards 
sometimes  introduce  Moliyn  or  Moyn,  for  Tarw,  a  bull.* 
Therefore  Moy«  Cad  is  synonymous  with  Tarw  Cad,  bull 
of  battle:  and  Camden  has  copied  two  inscriptions,  Deo 
Mogonti  Cad,  and  Deo  Mouno  Cad.  f  It  should  appeat 
from  hence,  that  our  bull  of  battle  was  publicly  acknow- 
ledged as  a  god,  in  the  ages  when  the  Romans  occupied 
Briton:  and  consequently,  that  the  Helio-arkite  god  of  thd 
Britons  was  venerated,  under  the  title  and  form  of  a  bull. 

The  two  other  bulls  df  battle,  mentioned  in  this  Triadj 
are  said  to  have  been  British  princes,  in  the  sixth  century ; 
but  I  must  observe,  that  the  priest  of  the  god,  or  the  princ6 
who  eminently  patronizes  his  worship,  is  often  dignified 
with  one  or  other  of  his  titles.  Thus  Aneurin  styles  the 
isolar  deity,  Beli  Bloeddvawr,  the  loud  roaring  Beli,  tliat 
is,  the  bull  Beli,  and  then  calls  his  priest.  Taw  Trin^  bull 
of  battle. 

Again,  the  -Triads  speak  of  the  three  bull  sovereigns  of 
Britain,  J  one  of  whom  is  named  Elmur  mab  Cadeir.  The 
frm  or  established  spirit,  son  of  the  Chair;  in  another  copy, 
the  son  of  Cibddar,  the  Mystic.  This  seems  to  be  a  de- 
scription of  Hu,  the  god  of  mystery.  The  second,  a  mere 
duplicate  of  the  same  personage  under  a  different  title,  is 
Cynhaval  mab  Argat,  prototype,  son  of  the  ark.  This  can 
be  no  other  than  the  patriarch,-  who  issued  from  the  ark, 
and  presented  the  first  specimen  of  man  to  the  new  world. 

*  So  Taliesin,  Appendix,  No.  3. 
+  Gibson's  Camden  Col.  1075. 
%  W.  Arehaiol.  V.  U-  p.  4.  l3.  76. 


The  third  bull  sovereign  was  Jvaon  or  Adaon,'  son  of  Tei- 
liesin;  but  it  appears,  that  Avaon  is  one  o£  the  cardinal 
points  in  the  sun's  course ;  and  Taliesin,  rkdiant  front  is  a 
title  of  solar  deity,  though  conferred  on  his  chiefpriestl 

The  mythological  bulls  of  ifoitain,  whether  warriors  or 
aoieereigns,  still  pertain  to  the  Helio-arkite  superstition. 
Let  us  consider  their  character,  as  DtEOTow*.  - 

The  three  bull  damons  of  Britain  were  Ellifll  Gwidawl, 
the  di^mon  of  the  whirling  stream;  Elh/ll  Uyr  Merini,  th« 
demon  of  the  flowing  sea;  and  Ellyll  Gurthmwl  Wledig,  the 
daemon  of  the  sovereign,  of  the  equiponderate  mass  (q.  the 
earth  ?)  *  All  this  seems  referable  to  him,  who  was  acknow- 
ledged as  emperor  of  the  land  and  seas,  and  worshipped  as 
chief  dartion  god  of  pagan  Britain.  And  we  are  told,  that 
of  the  three  daemons  which  were  recognized  in  this  islandj 
the  first  was  Ellyll  Banawg :  but  this  was  the  epethet  of 
the  oxen  of  Hu.  To  him,  therefore,  the  symbolical  bir  or 
bull  chiefly  pertains.  The  other  diBin%)ns,  in  this  Triad, 
are  not  said  to  have  been  itt'  the  form  of  this  animal.  One 
of  them  is  called  Ellyll  Ednyoedawg  Drythyll,  the  dnemon 
of  wanton  animation,  and  seems  to  allude  to  a  symbol  which 
disgraced,  even  paganism  itself :  the  last  was  Ellyll  Mcilen, 
the  dmmon  Malen,  the  Minerva  or  Bollona  of  Britain,  -f 

In  these  notices  we  And  the  Helio-arkite  god  identified 
with  an  ox  oi\  bull,  whethet  as  the  leader  in  battle,  as  su- 
preme ruler  of  the  landj  or  as  the  great  object  of  daemon 
worship.  It,  may,  therefore,  be  presumed  that  the  Dluids 
adored  him  in  the  image  of  a  bull;  or  that  they  kept  the 

»  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  16. 
i  I6id.  V.  II.  p.  16,  17,  71. 


living  animal  rs  his  representative*     But  let  us  hear  what 
the  ancient  Fards  have  said  upon  this  subject. 

That  Aneurin  calls  the  Helio-arkite  god  the  roaring  belt, 
and  gives  his  priest  the  title  of  bull  of  battle,  has  been  ob- 
served. SoTaliesin,  who,  in  the  poem  called  Buarth  Beirdd, 
the  Oxpen  of  the  Bards,  or  Bardic  stall  of  the  ox,  professes 
to  deliver  the  lore  of  his  order,  with  superior  accuracy, 
pronounces  a  kind  of  curse  upon  the  pretended  Bard,  who 
was  not  acquainted  with  this  sacred  stall.  This  inclosure 
was  situated  in  a  small  island,  or  rock,  beyond  the  billowgi 
The  rpck  displayed  the  countenance  of  him  who  recei-ces  tJie 
^exile  info  his  sanctuary,  that  is,  of  the, deified  patriarch, 
who  admitted  his  frien4s,  banished  from  the  old  world,  intp 
Jlis  ark. 

It  was  also  the  rock  of  the  supreme  proprietor,  that  is,  of  H^ 
the  Mighty^  who  is  repeatedly  called  the  supreme  proprietor 
of  the  British  islands,  and  the  emperor  of  the  land  and  seas: 
and  he  was  evidently  the  Bacchus  of  the  Britons;:  for  not 
to  insist  at  present  upon  other  proofs,  we  find  his  priests 
throughout  this  poem,  hastening  to  the  jolly  carousal,  and 
making  a  free  indulgence  in  the  mead  feast,  a  principal  rite 
in  the  worship  of  their  god, 

If  then,  the  sanctuary  of  Hu,  the  Helio-arkite  patriarch, 
and  Bacchus  of  the  Druids,  was  an  ax-stalf,  jt  must  be  in- 
ferred, that  the  god  presided  in  his  temple,  either  in  the 
image  of  a.  bull,  or  under,  the  representation  of  the  living 

Accordingly,  we  find  the  priest,  who  gives  the  mead  feast, 
and  introduces  the  votaries  into  the  temple,  making  procla- 
mation in  the  nstme  of  the  sacred  ^diftce,  and  of  the  god 


himself—"  I  am  the  cell — I  am  the  opening  chasm-i-I  am 
"  the  Bull,  Beer-Lied."  This  title  has  no  meaning  in  the 
British  language.  It  seems  to  consist  of  two  Hebrew  terms, 
implying  the  6m// of  J?flj»e.*  And  the  ideaj!  presented- by 
such  a  derivation,  perfectly  harmonizes  with  the  geiier&l 
tenor  of  British  my thology. 

For,  as  those  oxen,  which  were  merely  the  attendants  and 
ministers  of  Hu,  roared  in  thunder,  and  blazed  in  lightning, 
we  must  suppose  that  the  supreme  bull  himself,  had  an  es- 
sence still  brighter,  and  displayed  his  form  in  the'solarjlre. 

Hu  was  therefore  worshipped  in  the  form  of  a  bulL  But 
this  bull,  tipon  a  great  occasion,  had  submitted  to  the  sacred 
yoke,  and  dragged  the  chain  of  affliction. 

Th"fe  patriarch  god,  who,  amongst  his  other  titles,  is  ad- 
dressed by  the  name  of  Hu,  thus  speaks,  by  the  mouth  of 
his  priest — "  I  was  subjected  to  the  yoke,  for  my  affliction; 
"  foul  commesurate  was  my  confidence ;  the  world  had  ho 
"  existence,  zeere  it  not  for  my  progeny."  f 

Here  it  seems  to  be  implied,  that  our  mythologists  re- 
garded an  ox,  submitting  to  the  yoke,  as  an  apt  symbol  of 
the  patriarch,  in  hjs  fifflicted  state  during  the  deluge.  And 
this,  explains  the  meaning  of  the  Bard,  when  he  says  of  the 
Diluvian  patriarch,  "The  heavy  blue  chain  didst  thou, 
"  Ojuit  ntan  endure }  and  for  the  spoils  of  the  deep  (the 
"  ravages  of  thie  deluge)  doleful  is  thy  song."| 

J-  T  I         I        I-     ■'■  ■       r     -  I  I  |-        I m.  I       J  lii 

V  Appendix,  No.  11. 
J  Jj3id,  No,  3. 


la  the  isame  poem,  the  Bard  says  of  certain  pefsofls,  who 
were  not  admitted  into  the  society  of  the  p^ktiatch,  and 
into  the  mysteries  of  his  own  order — "  They  knew  not  oh 
*'  what  day  the  stroke  would  be  given,  nor  what  hour  of 
*^  the  splendid  day  Cwy  (the  agitated  person)  would  be 
"  born,  or  who  prevented  his  going  into  the  dales  of  Devwy 
''  (the  possession  of  the  waters).  They  know  not  the  brin- 
*'  died  ox  with  t^e  thick  head-baml,  iiasing  seten  score  knobs 
"  in  his  collar."  '•■•■, 

•This  irindkd  ox  is  the  sam»  tattriform  god,  whom  tfee 
Triads  mention  as  one  of  the  primary  oxen  of  Britain.  A. 
few  lines  lower  down,  we  have  ahintj.  that  the  Dxaids  kept 
an  ox  as  the  *fepresen'te.*ive  of  theirgdd.  The  Bard  says— 
*♦  They  know  not  what  animal  it  is,  which  the  silver-headed 
"  ones  (the  hoary  Druids)  protect."  This  animal  must 
have  been  th&  brindled  ox  mientioaed  in  the  preceding  pa- 

-  Indeed,^*  keeping  of  saored  oxen  seems  toihave  been 
essential  to  the  ^tablishment  of  these  fanati«il  priests. 
Thus,  Taliesin  and  Merddin  are  introduced,  bewailing  the 
^*rttcti©ft  6f  their  temitles- and  idols  in  the  sixth  century. 

:  ^'  It  was  Maelgwti  whom  I  saw,  with  piercing  weapons : 
•*  bUkita  the  Master  of  the  fait  ox^herd  (tfer  y  vtilu),  his 
"  hdusehoM-wilt  ndt  be  silent.  Before  the  two  persotiages, 
*  th^  lahd  in  the  eel^tial  circle-^before  the  j^sing  form 
"  and  the  fix*d  fditiil,  6\et  the  psilfe  white  boundary.  The 
"grey  stones  they.  actt^Jly- remove.  Soon  is  -  Jl^an  (tlie 
"  supremely  fair)  and  his  retinue  discovered — for  his  slaugh-< 
"  ter,  alas,  how  great  the  vengeance,  that  ensued !"  *    This 

*  S«e  Appendix,  No,  9. 

J  39 

Etgan,  master  oT  the  Fair  herd,  seehis  to  hav*been  the  syia* 
boi  of  Hu,  and  hte  was  a  litifig  tmimali  as  ajJpears  froM  the, 
fate  which  befel  hitti. 

Upon' the  whble,  it  appears  diat  the  Helio-arkite  ged 
was  represented  by  a  bull.  I  dd  not  think,  hdwever,  that 
he  is  to  be' identified  with  the  Ychain  Banawg,  or  oxen 
which  he  employed  in  drawing  the  avanc  otlt  of  the  lake* 
'These  animals  were  subjected  to  his  control.  It  appears  by 
a  passage  which  I  shall  presently  exhibit,  that  they  were 
originally  three  in  number ;"  but  that  one  of  them  failed  in 
the  office  assigned  to  him  and  his  companions,  which  Was, 
to  draw  the  shrifie  or  car  of  their  master  in  a  sacred  proces- 
sion. To  account  for  the  selection  of  these  animals  for  this 
use,  it  may  be  observed,  that  as  mythology  represented  the 
god  himself  as  a  bull,  it  might  be  •  deemed  meet^  that  he 
should  have  iuittifeters  of  the  same  species.  But  the  original 
and  historical  Hu,  Was  no  other  than  the  patriardi  Noah. 
iSo  his  original  Ychain  Banawg  may  have  had  human  exists- 
ence.  And  it  ihay  be  conjectured  that,  in  reality,  they 
Were  the  three  sons  df  the  patriarch,  who  attended  Up6n 
him,  with  the  title  of  tPth*^,  which  implies  both  kadtts, 
princes,  and  oxen.  Ahd  tradition,  whilst  Unsophisticated, 
may  have  reported,  that  they  assisted  their  aged  father  in 
his  debarkation.* 

The  oxen  of  Hu  were  concerned  in  the  event  of  the 
deluge ;  therefore,  ciMifteeted  with  th«  Arkite  mythology  of 
the  Britons.  Yet  populat  tiradition  recites  the  following 
tale  of  them.  One  of  these  oxen  overstrained  himself,  in 
drawing  forth  the  avanc,  so  that  his  eyes  started  from  their 

"  And  hence  may  have  arisen  the  &ble  of  the  D'SVN  drawing  the  ghrins 
ont  of  the  water. 


sockets,  and  he  dropped  down  dead,  as  soon  as  the  feat  vas 
achieved.  The  other,  pining  for  the  loss  of  his  companion, 
refused  food,  and  wandered  about  disconsolate,  till  he  died 
in  Cardiganshire,  at  a  place  which  is  called  Brevi,  that  is, 
the  bellowing,  from  the  dismal  moans  of  the  sacred  animal. 
Sojne  such  f  incident  may  have  happened  during  the  comme- 
morative rites  of  ithp.Britains;  and  the  locaHty  of  the  tale 
implies  a  probability,  that  this  spot  was  sacred  tp  the  rites 
of  Hu,  and  his  oxen. 

In  this  instance,  as  well  as  in  man;^  others,  the  early 
Christians  selected  the  sanctuary  of  their  heathen  predeces, 
sons,  for.  the  place  of  a  religious  ^stabUshment.  Perhaps 
this  was  done  with  the  view  of  diverting  the  attention  of  the 
people  from  the  objects  of  idolatrous  superstition,  which 
they  had  been  used  ,tp  contemplate  in  those  places;  but  it 
had  generally  a  contrary  effect.  Dewi,  first  Bishop  of  St, 
David's,  founded  a  church  and  a  religious  seminary  at 
Brevi.  But  so  far  was  this  from  obliterating  the  memory 
of  the  old  superstition,  that  th«  history  of  the  Christian 
bishop  seems  to  have  been  confounded  with  that  of  a  hear 
theja  god ;  and  the  Bards  transferred  to  him  the  mytholo- 
gical oxen  of  the  votajies  of  Hu.  Thus  Qwynvafdd  Brer 
cheiniog,  a  Bard  who  wrqte  in  the  former  part  of  the  twelftlj 

Deu  ychen  Pewi  deu  odidawc 
,    Dodyssant  hwy  eu  gwarr  dan  garr  kynawe. 
Deu  ychen  Dewi  arterchaw<!— oetynt. 
Deu  gam  a  gertynt  yn  gyd  preinyawc :     ■ 
I  hebrwng  anrec  yn  redegawc 
Y  liasgwm,  nyd  oet  trwm  tri  urtassawc. 
Edewid  Bangu  gu  gadwynawc ; 
A'r  deu  ereiU  ureisc  y  Vrycheinyawc, 


Ban  del  gofyii  arnam  ny  ryby  twA  ofnawC 
Rac  gormes  kedeirnHfcad  dybiunawc. 
Ar  Duw  a  Dewi  deu  niuerawc 
Yd  galvvn  bressen  bressvvyl  uodawc- 

"  The  two  oxen  of  Dewi,  two  of  distinguislied  lionour, 
"  put  their  necks  under  the  car  of  the  lofty  one.  The  two 
"  oxeii  of  Dewi,  majestic  were  they.  ^  With  equal  ■  pace 
"  they  moved  to  the  festival.  When  they  hastened,  in  con- 
"  ducting  the  sacred  boon  to  Glascwm  (the  green  valley),  the 
"  THREE  dignified  ones  %vere  not  sluggish.  The  amiable 
"  JBa>^2(  was  left  behind,  bearing  his  ehain;  and  the  two 
"  others,  with  their  huge  bulk,  arrived  in  Brechinia.  We 
**  shall  not  be  terrified  for  the  intrusion  of  the  mighty  ones, 
"  meritorious  in  battle.  Let  us  call  upbn  God  and  Dewi, 
"  the  two  leaders  of  hosts,  who,  at  this  hoar.  Willingly  so- 
"  journ  amongst  us." 

Throughout  this  curious  poem,  which  is  of  considerable 
length,  the  Bard  intermi^rfs  a  large  proportion  of  mytholo- 
gical imagery  and  description,  with  the  popish  lefgends  of 
Dewi.  We  need  not,  then,  be  surprised,  that  he  assigns 
to  his  patron  saint  those  celebrated  oxen,  which  were  the 
ascertained  property  of  Hit,  to  whom  all  that  is  said  in  the 
passage  before  us  must  be  referred.  Here,  then,  we  may 
remark  the  following  particulars  of  the  Ychain  Banawg, 
They  were,  originally,  three  in  number,  but,  by  the  failure 
of  one,  reduced  to  a  pair.  Their  office,  in  the  commemo- 
rative ceremony  of  the  Britons,  was  to  draw  the  car  o/"  the 
lefty  one,  or  of  Hii,  the  patriarch  god,  to  whom  the  oxen 
were  consecratfed  in  solemn  procession.  And  if  this  was 
the  meaning  of  the  memorial,  the  avanc  of  mythology, 
which  the  sacred  oxen  drew  out  of  the  lake,  and  which  gave 


rise  to  the  ceremony,  must  imply  the  identical  sftrine,  of 
vehicle;  which  inclosed  the  Dilmuian  patriarch 

Such  ceremonies  were  not  peculiar  to  the  Britons ;  and, 
perhaps,  did  not  originate  in  these  islands.  Mr.  Faber  has 
proved,  by  just  reasoning,  that  the  Phoenician  Agruemsy 
the  patron  of  agriculture,  was  no  other  than  the  deified 
patriarch  'Noah.  But,  as  the  author  observes—"  Sancho- 
"  Qiatho  informs  us,  that  his  statue  was  greatly  revered  by 
"  the  Phcenicians,,  that  his  shrine  was  drami  from  place  to 
"  place  hy,  a  yoke  of  oxen,  and  that,  amongst  the  Byblians, 
"  he  was  esteemed  even  the  greatest  df  gods  !"* 

Here  we  have  the  avane,  and  the  Yehain  Banawg  of  Hu 
Gadam;  but  the  Phoenician  historian  does  not  teU  us,  that 
this  shrine  was  drawn  out  of  a  lake,  which  was  an  essential 
circumstance  in  the  mythology  of  the  Britons.  It  may 
therefore  be  proper  to  consider  their  opinion  concerning 
certain  lakes,  and  the  phsBnomena  which  they  presented. 

The  Druids  represented  the  deluge  under  the  figure  of  a 
lake,  called  lAyn  Idion,  the  waters  of  which  burst  forth, 
and  overwhelmed  the  face  of  the  whcJe  earth.  Hence  they 
regiarded  a  lake  as  the  just  symbol  of  the  deluge.  But  the 
deluge  itself  was  viewed,  not  merely  as  an  instrument  of 
punishment  to  destroy  the  wicked  inhabitants  of  the  gk)be, 
but  also  as  a  divine  lustration,  which  washed  away  the  bane 
qf  corruption,  aijd  purified  the  earth  for  the  reception  of 
the  jt(st  ones,  or  of  the  deified  patriarch  and  his  family' 
Consequently,  it  was  deemed  peculiarly  sacred,  and  com- 
municated its  ddstingjujshing  character  to  those  lakes  and 
b?iya,  by  which  it  was  loeaJly  represented. 

'■■ ■  "III      ■.-!■■>■    ■  iJ  I         I         mim  I     Hi 

*  See  Myst.  of  thetJabiri,  V.  I.  p.  35,  43,  45,  &c. 


As.  a  relict  of  this  superstition  of  our  ancestors,  I  may 
adduce  the  najnes  of  certB^Q:  lakes  ajuongst  the  Camhrian 
mountains;  as,  lilyn  C^ini,  the  lake  of  adoration,  upon 
Cevn  Creini,^  the  hill  of  cidoration :  and  Llj/n  Urddyn^  the 
lake  of  consecration,  in  Meirionethshire ;  and  Llyn  Gwydd 
lor,  the  lake  of  the  grow  of,  Mr,  or  God,  in  Montgomeiy- 
shire.*  ,Such  names  evidently  imply,  that  some  religious 
id^as  were  anciently  conneetedi  with  these  lakes.  And  that 
this  kind  of  superstition  was  prevalent  amongst  the  ancient 
Druids,  may  be  inferred  from  the  testimony  of  Gildas, 
who  informs  us  that  they  worshipped  mountains  and  rivers.f 

And,  that  the  veneration  for  lakes  was  referable  to  the 
deluge,  appears  from  the  Welsh  chronicles  of  Walter  de 
Mopes,  and  Geoffrey  of  Monmouth.  These  writers,  in  the 
mass  of  thjeir  romance,  involve  a  fevr  genuine  nattonat  tradi- 
tions ;.  which  they  would  fain  pass  upon  the  world  for  sober 
history.  Thys.  they  introduce  Arthn?,  as  ^yingr— r*4  There 
"  is  a  lake,  near  the  Severn,  chilled  Llyn  Llion,  whicl^  swal- 
"  lows  all  the  water  that  flows  into  it  at  the  tide  of  flood, 
"  without  any  visible  increase :  but  at  the  tide  of  ebb,  it 
"swells  up  like  a  mountain,  and  pour^  its,  waters  over  the 
"  banks,  so  that  wh<iev;er  stands  near  it- at  this  timei  mttsS 
*.'  run  the  risk  of  being  overwhelmed .";}: 

The  Llyn  Llion  of  these  writers  preserves  the  name,  of 
that  mythological  lake,  which,  occasioned  the  ql^lttge;  of 
which  it  was,  therefore,  a  local  symbol.  The  peculiarity 
here  assigned  to  it,  ni^^y  allude  to  some,  suph  a*tura)j  phe- 
nomenon as  the  Hygre,  ox-  S^ern)B,oav;  a,  Y^gh  and  lioiar- 

"  See  Camb.  Reg.  V.  I.  p.  302,  370. 

+  See  Dr.  Borlase's  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  p.  110. 

i  W.  Arehaiol.  V.  II.  p.  309. 


ing  surge,  which  leads  the  flood  to  the  inland  parts  of  the 
channel,  whilst  the  river  is  actually  ehbing  in  its  sestuary. 
This  circumstance  the  Druida^may  have  remarked,  and  im* 
proved  upon  it,  for  the  purposes  of  superstition. 

The  reference  of  the  sacred  lakes  of  the  Britons  to  the 
deluge,  is  so  clear  in  the  mystical  poems,  that  I  need  not 
cite  particulaa*  passages.  The  reader  is  referred  to  the  Ap» 
peadix  in  general. 

And -not  only  the  Britons,  but  the  continental  Celtse  also, 
are  remarked  in  history  for  their  superstitious  veneration  of 

Straho  says,  that  the  Gauls  consecrated  their  gold  in 
certain  lakes;  and  adds,  that  lakes  furnished  them  with 
their  most  inviolate  sanctuaries.  Mo'ura  ^  avm;  m  Atftieu  nt* 
^lK^B^l«»  ffxp/of.  Here  we  must  understand,  certain  islets,  or 
rafts,  inclosed  within  these  lakes;  as  vrill  be  seen  in  th« 

We  also  learn  from  Justin,  that  in  a  time  of  public  cala- 
mity, the  priests  of  the  Gauls,  that  is,  the  Druids,  declared 
to  the  people,  that  they  should  not  be  free  from  the  pesti- 
lential distemper  which  then  raged  among  them,  till  they 
should  have  dipped  the  gold  and  silver,  gotten  by  war  and 
sacrilege,  in  the  lake  of  Thoulouse.* 

Hence  the  author  of  Rel.  des  Gaules  supposes,  that  the 
Gauls  of  Thoulouse  had  no  other  temple  than  a  sacred 

•  Lib.  XXXII.  c.  3. 


The  same  author  presents  us  with  this  curious  account— 

"  Many  persons  resorted  to  a  lake,  at  the  foot  of  the 
"  Gevaudan  njountain,  consecrated  to  the  moon,  under  the 
"  name  of  Helartus,  and  thither  Cast  in,  some,  the  human 
"  habits,  linen,  cloth,  and  entire  fleeces ;  others  cast  in 
"  cheese,  wax,  bread,  and  other  things,  £very  one  according 
"  to  his  ability ;  then  sacrificed  animals,  and  feasted  for 
"  three  days."  * 

This  seems  to  be  perfectly  consonant  with  British  super- 
stition, in  regard  to  the  Dlluvian  lakes. 

But  the  deluge  overwhelmed  the  world,  and  this  catas- 
trophe was  figured  out  in  the  traditional  history  of  several  of 
our  sacred  lakes^ 

The  annotator  upon  Camden  mentions  the  names  of  six 
lakes,  in  which  ancient  cities  are  reported  to  have  been 
drowned,  f 

I  could  add  several  others  to  this  list,  but  I  observe,  that 
tradition  generally  adds,  that  some  person  or  spiall  family 
escaped  upon  a  piece  of  timber,  or  by  other  means.— 
Though  I  think  it  improbable  that  such,  submersions  actu- 
ally happened,  I  refer  the  tales  in  which  they  aje  reported, 
to  those  lessons  which  our  ancestors  learned  from  their 
heathen  instructors,  whilst  inculcating  the  mythology  of  the 
tJeluge.  .  ^ 

The  principal  lake  mentioned  by  our  author  is  Liyn  Sa- 


*  V.  I-  p.  114r-128. 

+  Gibson's  Camdeo  Col,  7Q6, 


vaddan,  in  Brecknockshire.  The  old  story  of  its  foima- 
tion  is  not  totally  forgotten.  I  recollect  some  of  its  inci- 
dents, as  related  by  an  old  man  in  the  town  of  Hay. 

"  The  scite  of  the  present  lake  was  formerly  occupied  by 
"  a  large  city ;  but  the  inhabitants  were  reported  to  be  very 
*'  wicked.  The  king  of  the  country  sent  his  servant  to  ex- 
"  amine  into  the  truth  of  this  rumour,  adding  a  threat,  that 
"  in  case  it  should  prove  to  be  well  founded,  he  would  de- 
"  stroy  the  place,  as  an  example  to  his  other  subjects.  The 
"  minister  arrived  at  the  town  in  the  evening.  All  the  in- 
"  habitants  were  engaged  in  riotous  festivity,  and  wallow- 
"  ing  in  excess.  Not  one  of  them  regarded  the  stranger,  or 
"  offered  him  the  rites  of  hospitality.  At  last,  he  saw  the 
"  open  door  of  a  mean  habitation,  into  which  he  entered. 
"  The  family  had  deserted  it  to  repair  to  the  scene  of  tumult, 
"  all  but  one  infant,  who  lay  weeping  in  the  cradle.  The 
"  royal  favourite  sat  down  by  the  side  of  this  cradle,  soothed 
"  the  little  innocent,  and  was  grieved  at  the  thought,  that 
"  he  must  perish  in  the  destruction  of  his  abandoned  neigh- 
"  hours.  In  this  situation  the  stranger  passed  the  night; 
"  and  whilst  he  \\as  diverting  the  child,  he  accidently 
"  dropped  his  glove  into  the  cradle.  The  next  morning  he 
"  departed  before  it  was  light,  to  carry  his  melancholy 
"  tidings  to  the  king. 

"  He  had  but  just  left  the  town  when  he  heard  a  noise 
"behind  him,  like  a  tremendous  crack  of  thunder  mixed 
"  with  dismal  shrieks  and  lamentations.  He  stopped 
"  to  listen.  Now  it  sounded  like  the  dashinar  of  waves : 
"  and  presently  all  was  dead  silence.  He  could  not  see 
"  what  had  happened,  as  it  was  still  dark,  and  he  felt 
"  no  inclination  ta  return  into  the  city :  so  he  pursued  his 
"  journey  till  sunrise.  The  mornmg  was  cold.  He  searched 
"  for  his  gloves,  and  finding  but  one  of  them,  he  presently 



"  recollected  where  he  had  left  the  other.  These  gloves 
"  had  been  a  present  from  his  sovereign.  He  determined 
"  to  return  for  that  which  he  had  left  behind.  When  he 
"  was  come  hear  td  the  scite  of  the  town,  he  observed  with 
surprize,  that  none  of  the  buildings  prasented  tliemselves 
to  his  view,  as  on  the  preceding  day.  He  proceeded  a 
"  ffew  steps — The  whole  plain  was  covered  with  a  lake. 
"  Whilst  he  was  gazing  at  this  novel  and  terrific  scene,  he 
"  remarked  a  little  spot  in  the  middle  of  the  waler :  the  wind 
"  gently  wafted  it  towards  the  bank  where  he  stood;  as  it 
"  drew  near,  he  recognized  the  identical  cradle  in  which  he 
*'  had  left  his  glove.  His  joy  on  receiving  this  pledge  of 
"  royal  favour  was  only  heightened  by  the  discovery,  that 
"  the  little  object  of  his  compassion  had  reached  the  shore 
"  alive  and  unhurt.  He  carried  the  infant  to  the  king,  and 
"  told  his  majesty,  that  this  was  all  which  he  had  been 
"  able  to  save  out  of  that  wretched  place." 

This  little  narrative  evidently  contains  the  substance  of 
one  of  those  tales,  which  we  call  Mabinogion,  that  is,  tales 
for  the  instruction  of  youth,  in  the  pririciples  of  Bardic  my- 
thology. And  it  seems  to  have  for  its  object,  a  local  and  im- 
pressive commemoration  of  the  d^fuction  of  a  profligate 
race,  by  the  waters  of  the  delu^.  ^ 

Such  traditions  of  the  submersion  of  cities,  in  the  lakes 
of  the  country,  or  of  populous  districts,  by  the  intrusion  of 
the  sea,  are  current  all  over  Wales.  They  were  not  unfre- 
quent  in  other  heathenish  countries ;  and  I  observe,  Mr. 
Faber  unifoi=mly  refers  them  to  the  history  of  the  deluge. 

Thus  "  Phlegyas  and  his  children,  the  PhlegyJE,  were  said 
"  to  have  come  from  the  knd  of  Minyas,  and  in  the  pride 
"  of  their  heart,  tp  have  quitted  the  city  of  the  Otchome- 


"  nians  or  Arkites.  This  desertion  from  the  Miiiyse  of 
"  Noachidte,  proved  the  cause  of  their  destruction ;  for  it 
"  was  in  reality,  the  separation  of  the  antediluvian  giants, 
"  or  Titans,  from  the  family  of  Noah.  They  refused  to 
"  ilnitate  the  piety  of  that  patriarch,  and  were  consequently 
"  excluded  from  the  ark  hy  their  own  wickedness.  Accord- 
"  ingly  Nonnus  represents  them  as  being  overwhelmed  by 
"  Neptune,  with  the  waters  of  the  ocean, 

"  From  its  deep  rooted  base,  the  Phlegyan  isle 

"  Stern  Neptune  shook,  and  plung'd  beneath  the  waves, 

"  Its  impious  inliabitants."* 

"  I  am  persuaded,  says  our  author,  that  the  tradition  of 
"  the  sinking  of  the  Phlegyan  isle,  is  the  very  same  as  that 
"  of  the  sinking  of  the  island  Atlantis.  They  both  appear 
"  to  me  to  allude  to  one  great  event,  the  sinking  of  the  old 
"  world  beneath  the  waters  of  the  deluge,  or  if  we  suppose 
"  the  arch  of  the  earth  to  have  remained  in  its  original  po- 
"  sition,  the  rising  of  the  central  waters  above  it. — The 
"  force  of  truth  leads  him  (M.  Baily)  unguardedly  to  main- 
"  tain,  for  he  doubtless  did  not  perceive  the  consequences 
"  of  such  a  position,  that  the  Atlantians  were  the  same  as 
"  the  Titans  and  the  giants ;  and  he  even  cites  an  ancient 
"  tradition,  preserved  by  Cosmas  Indico-Pleustes,  that  Noah 
"  formerly  inhabited  the  island  Atlantis ;  but  that,  at  the 
"  time  of  the  deluge,  he  was  carried  in  an  ark  to  that  con- 
"  tinent,  which  has  ever  since  been  occupied  by  his  poste- 
rity. These  particulars  unequivocally  point  out  to  us, 
"  the  proper  mode  of  explaining  the  histojy  of  the  At- 
"  lantians."t 


•  See  Myst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  387,  with  the  anthor's  authoriUes. 
t  Ibid  V.  II.  p.  283, 


As  a  further  elucidation  of  our  prevalent  traditions,  of 
the  submersion  of  cities  and  regions,  I  must  take  the  liberty 
to  transcribe  the  following  curious  passage. 

"As  the  sinking  of  the  Phlegyan  isle,  and  the  submersion 
"  of  the  island  Atlantis,  equally  relate  to  the  events  of  the 
"  flood ;  so  the  Chinese  have  preserved  a  precisely  similar 
"  tradition,  respecting  the  preservation  of  the  pious  Peiruun, 
"  and  the  fate  of  the  island  Maurigasima,  the  Atlantis  of 
"  the  eastern  world. 

"  Maurigasima,  says  Koempfer,  was  an  island  famous  in 
*'  former  ages,  for  the  excellency  and  fruitfulness  of  its  soil, 
"  which  afforded  among  the  rest,  a  particular  clay,  exceed- 
"  ingly  proper  for  the  making  of  those  vessels,  which  now  go 
"  by  the  name  of  Porcelain,  or  China  ware.  The  inhabitants 
"  very  mUch  enriched  themselves  by  the  manufacture ;  but 
"  their  increasing  wealth  gave  birth  to  luxury  and  contempt 
"  of  religion,  which  incensed  the  gods  to  that  degree,  that 
"  by  an  irrevocable  decree,  they  determined  to  sink  the 
"  whole  island.  However,  the  then  reigning  king  [and  so- 
"  vereign  of  the  island,  whose  name  was  Peiruun,  being  a 
"  very  virtuous  and  religious  prince,  no  ways  guilty  of  the 
"crimes  of  his  subjects,  this  decree  of  the  gods  was  re- 
"  vealed  to  him  in  a  dream ;  wherein  he  was  commanded, 
"  as  he  valued  the  security  of  his  person,  to  retire  on  board 
"  his  ships,  and  to  flee  from  the  island,  as  soon  as  he  should 
"  observe,  that  the  faces  of  the  two  idols  which  stood  at  the 
"  entry  of  the  temple  turned  red,  So  pressing  a  danger, 
"  impending  over  the  heads  of  his  subjects,  and  the  signs 
"  whereby  they  might  know  its  approach,  in  order  to  save 
"  their  lives  by  a  speedy  flight,  he  caused  forthwith  to  be 
"  made  public ;  but  he  was  only  ridiculed  for  his  zeal  and 
«'  care,  and  grew  contemptible  to  his  su^bjects,    Some  time 


"  after,  a  loose  idle  fellow,  further  to  expose  the  king's  su- 
"  perstitious  fears,  went  one  night,  nobody  observing  hiin> 
"  and  painted  the  faces  of  both  idols  red.  The  next  morn- 
"  ing  notice  was  given  to  the  king,  that  the  idols'  faces 
"  were  red :  upon  which,  little  imagining  it  to  be  done  by 
"  such  wicked  hands,  but  looking  upon  it  as  a  miraculous 
"  event,  and  undoubted  sign  of  the  island's  destruction 
"  being  now  at  hand ;  he  went  forthwith  on  board  his  ships 
"  with  his  family,  and  all  that  would  follow  him ;  and  with 
"  crowded  sails,  hastened  from  the  fatal  shores,  towards  the 
"  coasts  of  the  province  Foktsju,  in  China.  After  the 
"  king's  departure,  the  island  sunk ;  and  the  scoffer,  with 
"  his  accomplices,  not  apprehensive  that  their  frolic  would 
"  be  attended  with  so  dangerous  a  consequence,  were  swal- 
"  lowed  up  by  the  waves,  with  all  the  unfaithful  that  re- 
"  mained  in  the  island,  and  an  immense  quantity  of  por- 
"  celain  ware. 

"  The  king  and  his  people  got  safe  to  China,  where  the 
"  memory  of  his  arrival  is  still  celebrated  by  a  yearly  fes- 
"  tival,  on  which  the  Chinese,  particularly  the  inhabitants 
"  of  the  southern  maritime  provinces,  divert  themselves  on 
"  the  water,  rowing  up  and  down  in  their  boats,  as  if  they 
"  were  preparing  for  a  flight,  and  sometimes  crying  with  a 
"  loud  voice,  Peirmm,  which  was  the  name  of  that  prince. 
"  The  same  festival  hath  been,  by  the  Chinese,  intro- 
"  duced  into  Japan ;  and  is  now  celebrated  there,  chiefly 
"  upon  the  western  coasts  of  this  empire." 

"  It  is  easy  to  see,  continues  Mr.  Faber,  that  this  tradi- 
"  tion,  respecting  the  island  Maurigasima,  is  a  mere  adap- 
"  tation  of  the  fable  of  the  Atlantis,  to  the  manners  and 
"  habits  of  the  Chinese.  The  same  local  appropriation 
"  which  fixed  the  one  i^sland  in  the  western,  fixed  the  other 


",  in  the  eastern'  ocean ;  and,  while  the  Greeks  and  Phceni- 
"  cians  worshipped  the  great  solar  patriarch,  under  the 
"  name  of  Atlas;  the  Chinese  revered  the  common  proge- 
"  nitor  of  mankind,  under  the  title  of  Peiruun,  or  P'Arun' 
"  the  Jrkite."  * 

To  the  same  general  conclusion,  to  which  Mr,  Faber  is 
led  by  a  view  of  universal  mythology,  I  had  arrived  by  the 
contemplation  of  British  tradition.  This  coincidence  fur- 
nishes a  presumption,  that  we  are  both  right,  and  that  these 
local  tales  of  people  so  widely  separated  in  time  and  situa- 
tion, must  allude  to  some  great  event,  in  which  the  ances- 
tors of  all  nations  were  conceriied.  This  event  could  be  no 
other  than  the  deluge. 

And  as  the  tales  of  the  submersion  of  towns  and  province^, 
presented  our  rude  ancestors  with  local  commemorations  of 
the  destruction  of  mankind,  by  the  deluge;  so,  on  the  other 
hand,  we  find  the  country  full  of  tradition,  which  must  be 
referred  to  the  preservation  of  the  patriarch  and  his  family 
through  the  midst  of  that  awful  calamity.  To  this  class 
pertain  the  rivers  which  are  represented  as  passing  uncor- 
rupted  and  unmixed  through  the  waters  of  certain  lakes. 
Let  it  suffice  to  mention  two  instance's, 

Camden,  speaking  of  Lli/n  Sataddan,  already  described, 
says — ■ 

"  Lkazeeni,  a  small  river,  having  entered  this  lake,  still 
"  retains  its  own  colour,  and  as  it  were,  disdaining  a  mix- 

•  Myst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  11,  p.  289,  from   Kcempfer's  Japan,  Appendix, 
f>.  13. 


"  t}ire,  is  tjiought  to  carry  out  no  more,  nor  other  wat€l^ 
"  than  what  it  brought  in."* 

Again,  "  In  the  East  part  of  the  county  (Meirioneth) 
*'  the  river  Dee  springs  from  two  fountains. — This  river, 
"  after  a  very  short  course,  is  said  to  pass  entire  and  nn-t 
*'  mixed,  through  a  large  lake,  called  Llyn  Tegid,  in  Eng- 
f  lish,  Pemble  Mear — carrying  out  the  same  quantity  of 
*'  water  that  it  brought  in."f  ' 

As  the  lakes  themselves  were  symbols  of  the  deluge,  so 
these  incorniptible  rivers  were  the  stream  of  life,  which 
passed,  whole  and  uninjured,  through  those  destructive 

Here  it  is  to  be  remarked,  that  the  fountains  of  the  Dee 
are  distinguished  by  the  names  of  Dreyvawr,  and  Dwyvach  ; 
and  these  are  the  very  names  of  the  mythological  pair  al- 
ready mentioned,  who  were  preserved  in  the  sacred  ship 
when  the  lake  burst  forth  and  drowned  the  world.  Hence 
it  must  be  inferred,  that  these  united  and  immaculate 
streams,  were  regarded  as  symbol?  of  those  distinguished 
personages.  Such  are  the  sacred  rivers  reported  by  Gildas, 
\o  have  been  worshipped  by  the  Pagan  Britons. 

The  honours  of  the  Dee  may  be  inferred,  not  only  from 
the  consecrated  spots  and  tem'^lps  which  ailom  its  banks, 
but  from  its  very  names.  It  was  callpd  Dyvrdrpy,  the  di- 
vine ^a^er;  Puvrdonwt/f  the  water  conferring  virtue  or  grace; 

*  Gibsons's  Camden,  Col.  706. 
t  |bid.  Col.  791. 


and^  Peryddon,  a  divine  stream,  or,  the  stream  of  the  great 
causes  or  commanders.* 

Tfie  Dee  was  then  [worshipped  as  the  image  of  the 
deified  patriarch,  and  his  supposed  consort.  Nor  were  even 
these  conceits  peculiar  to  our  Celtic  ancestors.  Mr.  Faber 
has  shewn  by  a  variety  of  arguments  and  deductions,  that 
Styx,  the  river  or  lake  of  helij^-iifce  our  British  lakes,  was  a 
personification  of  the  flood,  -f 

"  Accordingly,  adds  our  author,  the  Sholiast  upon  Hesiod 
"  declares,  that  Styx  was  the  T^ter  which  proceeded  from 
"  the  lowest  parts  of  the  earth,  and  occasioned  the  ph<Enome- 
*'  non  of  the  rainbow."  This  passage  brings  to  view  the  great 
deep,  and  the  sacred  sign  given  to  Noah  upon  the  subsiding 
I  of  the  deluge.  Yet  Homer  records  a  tale  of  the  Titaresius, 
a  stream  which  flows  forth  from  the  Styx,  prppisel^  anar 
legous  to  the  British  mythology  of  the  Dee. 

"  Or  where  the  pleasing  Titaresius  glides, 

''  And  into  Peneus,  rolls  his  easy  tides ; 

''  Yet  o'er  the  siher  surface,  pure  they  flow, 

"  The  sacred  stream,  unmixed  with  streams  below, 

"  Sacred  and  awful !  from  the  dark  abodes 

''  Styx  pours  tliem  forth,  the  dreadful  oath  of  gods."J 

This  aenigma  being  precisely  the  same  in  Greece  and 
Britain,  it  is  probable,  that  if  it  were  duly  ^investigated,  it 
would  be  found  to  admit  of  the  same  solution. 

*  See  Owen's  Diet.  V.  Bonwy,  Dyvrdwy,  Ptrj/dd,  and  Perydden, 
t  Myst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  259,  &e. 
f  Iliadf  B,  II.  Fope'f  translation. 


But  I  must  go  on  to  consider  another  circumstance  of 
tradition,  connected  with  the  lakes  and  bays  of  Britain ; 
and  by  which  our  ancestors  commemorated  the  vessel  in 
which  their  deified  patriarch  overcame  the  deluge. 

This  vessel  is  denominated  a  caer,  that  is,  s^  fenced  in-! 

closure,  and  the  same  caer  is  described  as  an  island.*  Hence 
the  sanctuaries  of  the  Druids,  which  were  intended  as  re- 
presentatives of  this  prototype,  are  often  styled  caers  and 
islands,  and  were  frequently  constructed  within  small  is- 
lands, which  were  considered  as  having  once  floated  upon 
the  surface  of  the  water.  And  where  these  were  wanting, 
our  hierophants  seem  to  have  con^ructed  a  kind  of  rafts  or 
floats,  in  imitation  of  such  islands. 


Thus  the  British  Apollo,  speaking  through  his  priest, 
asks  the  names  of  the  three  ca^rs,  between  the  high  and 
the  low  water  mark,  and  boasts,  that  in  case  of  a  general 
deluge,  he  would  preserve  his  seat  of  presidency  safe  and  in- 
violate :  intimating,  that  the  sacred  \pot  would  mount  on 
the  surface  of  the  w^aters.  f  Such  is  the  representation 
which  we  have  of  the  great  sanctuary  of  Sidi. — 

"  The  inundation  will  surround  us,  the  chief  priests  of 
"  Ked :  yet  complete  is  my  chair,  in  Caer  Sidi,  neither  dis- 
"  order  nor  age  will  oppress  him  that  is  within  it.— Three 
"  loud  strains,  round  the  fire,  will  be  sung  before  it,  whilst 
"  the  currenl|r  of  the  sea  are  round  its  borders,  and  the  co- 
"  pious  fountain  is  open  from  abov«."  j 

•  Appendix,  No.  3. 
+  Ibid.  No.  4. 
i  Ihid.  No.  1. 


Taliesin  describes  his  holy  sanctuary  as  wandering  about 
from  place  to  place.  He  first  mentions  it,  as  being  upon 
the  surface  of  the  ocean:  the  billows  assail  it,  and  with  speed 
it  removes  before  them.  It  now  appears  on  the  zsjide  lake, 
as  a  city  not  protected  with  walls;  the  sea  surrounds  it. 
Again  we  perceive  it  on  the  ninth  wave,  and  presently  it  is 
arrived  within  the  gulph,  or  bend  of  the  shore ;  there  it  lifts 
itself  on  high,  and  at  last,  fixes  on  the  margin  of  the  flood. 
After  all,  it  appears  that  this  holy  sanctuary  was  nothing 
morethan  the  Httle  island  of  DmJycA,  in  Dyved,  or  that  in- 
sulated spot,  upon  which  the  town  of  Tenby,  in  Pembroke- 
shire, stands  at  present.  ^ 

What  can  all  this  mean,  unless  it  be,  that  this  was"a 
sacred  island  of  the  Druids,  and  that  it  was  congenial  to 
their  arkite  mythology,  to  devise  the  fable,  that  it  had  once 
floated  on  the  surface  of  the  ocean  ? 

In  the  mountains  near  Brecknock,  there  is  a  small  lake, 
to  which  tradition  assigns  some  of  the  properties  of  the  fa- 
bulous Avemus.  I  recollect  a  Mabinogi,  or  mythological 
tale,  respecting  this  piece  of  water,  which  seems  to  imply, 
that  it  had  once  a  floating  raft,  for  here  is  no  island. 

"  In  ancient  times,  it  is  said,  a  door  in  a  rock  near  this 
"  lake,  was  found  open  upon  a  certain  day  every  year. 
"  I  think  it  was  May  day.  Those  who  had  the  curiosity  and 
"  resolution  to  enter,  were  conducted  by  a  secret  passage, 
"  which  terminated  in  a  small  island,  in  the  centre  of  the 
"  lake.  Here  tjie  visitors  were  surprized  with  the  prospect 
"  of  a  most  enchanting  garden,  stored  with   the  choicest 

•  Appendix,  No.  2. 

156  . 

"  fruits  and  flowers,  and  inhabited  by  the  TylwythTig,  or 
"  fair  family,  a  kind  of  fairies,  whose  beauty  could  be 
"  equalled  only  by  the  courtesy  and  aifability  which  they 
"  exhibited  to  those  who  pleased  them.  They  gathered  fruit 
"  and  flowers  for  each  of  their  guests,  entertained  them 
"  with  the  most  exquisite  music,  disclosed  to  them  many 
*'  events  of  futurity,  and  invited  them  to  stay,  as  long  as 
"  they  should  find  their  situation  agfeeable.  But  the 
"  island  was  sacred,  and  nothing  of  its  produce  must  be 
♦'  carried  away," 

*'  The  whole  of  this  scene  was  invisible  to  those  who 
"  stood  without  the  margin  of  the  lake.  Only  an  indis- 
"  tinct  mass  was  seen  in  the  middle ;  and  it  was  observed, 
"  that  no  bird  would  fly  over  the  water,  and  that  a  soft 
<'  strain  of  music,  at  times,  breathed  with  rapturous  sweet- 
"  ness  in  the  breeie  of  the  mountain, 

"  It  happened  upon  one  of  these  annual  visits,  tliat  a 
"  sacrilegious  wretch,  when  he  was  about  to  leave  the  gar- 
"  den,  put  a  flower,  with  which  he  had  been  presented, 
*'  into  his  pocket ;  but  the  theft  boded  him  no  good.  As 
"  soon  as  he  had  touched  unhallowed  ground,  the  flour  va^ 
"  nished,  and  he  lost  his  senses. 

"  Of  this  injury,  the  fair  family  took  no  notice  at  the 
"  time.     They  dismissed  their  guests  with  theix  accustomed 

courtesy,  and  the  door  was  closed  as  usual.  But  their 
"  resentment  ran  high.  For  though,  as  the  tale  goes,  ihe 
"  Tylwyth  Teg  and  their  garden  undoubtedly  occupy  the 
"  spot  to  this  day — though  the  birds  still  keep  at  a  re- 
*'  spectful  distance  from  the  lake,  and  solne  broken  strains 
"  of  music  are  still  heard  at  times,  yet  the  door  which  kd 
"  to  the  island  has  never  re-appeared ;  and,  from  the  date 



"  of  this  sacrilegious  act,   the  Cymry  have  beau  unfor-» 
"  tunate." 

It  is  added,  that  "  Some  time  after  this,  an  adventurous 
"  person  attempted  to  draw  off  the  water,  in  order  to  dis- 
".  cover  its  contents,  when  a  terrific  form  arose  from  the 
"  midst  of  the  lake,  commanding  him  to  desist,  or  otherr 
"  wise  he  would  drown  the  country." 

I  have  endeavoured  to  render  this  tale  tolerable,  by  com- 
pressing its  language,  without  altering  or  adding, to  its  cir- 
cumstances. Its  connection  with  British  mythology  may 
be  inferred,  from  a  passage  of  Taliesin,  where  he  says,  that 
the  deluge  was  presaged  by  the  Druid,  who  earnestly  at- 
tended, in  the  aethereal  temple  of  Geirionydd,  to  the  songs 
that  were  chaunted  by  the  Cwyllion,  children  of  |;he  even- 
ing, in  the  bosoms  of  lakes.* 

The  floating  island  of  this  lake  was  evidently  an  Arkite 

Giraldus  Cambrensis,  speaking  of  the  lakes  amongst  the 
mowjitains  of  Snowdon,  mentions  one  which  was  remark- 
able for  a  wandering  island,  concerning  which  some  tradi-, 
tional  stories  were  related.  Camden  thinks  this  lake  is  to 
be  recognized  in  "  A  small  pond,  called  Llyn  y  Dyzoarchen 
"  (i.  e.  Lacus  C^spitis),  from  a  little  green  moveable  patch, 
"  which  is  all  the  occasion  of  the  fable  of  the  wandering 
",  island."  t 

This  great  antiquary  was  but  little  inquisitive,  as  to  the 

•  Appendix,.  No.  12. 

t  Gibson's  Camden  Col,  797. 


nature  and  tendency  of  popular  tradition;  otherwise  he 
would  have  recorded  some  curious  particulars  of  the  islands 
in  the  celebrated  lake  of  Lomond.  He  only  observes,  that 
"  It  hath  several  islands  in  it,  concerning  which  there  are 
"  many  traditional  stories  amongst  the  ordinary  sort  of 
"  people.  As  for  the  floating  island  here,  I  shall  not  call 
"  the  truth  of  it  in  question ;  for  what  should  hinder  a 
"  body  from  swimming,  that  is  dry  and  hollow,  like  a  pin- 
"  nace,  and  very  light  ?  And  so  Pliny  tells  us,  that  certain 
"  green  islands,  covered  with  reeds  and  rushes,  float  up  and 
"  down  in  the  lake  of  Vadimon"* 

Pliny's  description  of  th?  lake  of  Vadimon  is  minute  and 
curious.  Many  incredible  stories  were  told  of  it ;  but  the 
following  particulars,  amongst  others,  he  observed  as  an  eye 

The  lake  is  perfectly  round,  the  banks  even,  regular,  and 
of  equal  height ;  so  that  it  appears  as  if  scooped  out,  and 
formed  by  the  hand  of  an  artist.  The  water  is  of  a 
bluish  or  greenish  colour,  it  smells  of  sulphur,  and  has  the 
quality  of  consolidating  things  that  had  been  broken. 
There  is  no  vessel  upon  this  lake,  because  it  is  sacred;  but  it 
has  several  fertile,  wandering  islands,  of  equal  height  and 
lightnfess,  and  formed  like  the  keels  or  hulks  of  ships. 

Th6  same  lake  sends  forth  a  stream,  which,  after  flowing, 
a  short  Space,  is  butied  in  a  cave,  and  runs  deep  Imder  the 
earth.  If  any  thing  is  cast  into  this  stream,  before  it  en- 
ters the  cave,  it  is  carried  forth  to  the  place  where  it  re- 
appears. •]- 

•.  Gibson's  Camden  Col.  l2ir. 
+  Plin.  L.  VIII.  Epist.  20. 


As  this  lake  of  Vadimon,  or  Vandimon,  with  its  floating 
islands,  was  sacred,  there  can  be  little  doubt,  that  it  waS 
accommodated  by  art  to  the  commemoration  of  Arkite 
superstition ;  and  consecrated  to  the  Etruscan  Janus,  whose 
-name  it  bore.  But  this  divinity,  as  we  are  informed  by  a 
very  curious  relic  of  Etrusqan  antiquity,  was  no  other  than 
the  Noah  of  Scripture. 

Magnus  pater  Vandimon,  qui  a  Latinis  Janus,  a  Syris 
"Noa  vocatur,  advenit  in  banc  regionem  (scil.  Hetruriam) 
Gum  secundo  filio  Japeto,  et  illius  filiis ;  et  cum  venissent 
super  hunc  montem,  sibi  commodum,  posteris  jucundum 
putavit.  Quare,  in  superior!  parte,  quae  salubrior  esset, 
eivitatem  aedificavit,  et  Gethtm  appellavit,  f 

The  arrival  of  Noah  in  Italy,  is  probably  as  fabulous  as 
the  settlement  of  Hu  in  Britain ;  but  gods  and  deified  per- 
sons are  generally  represented  as  having  settled  in  those 
places,  where  their  worship  was  established.  All  I  would 
infer  from  the  testimony  of  Pliny,  Gbauected  with  this  pas- 
sage, is,  that  the  Helio-arkite  patriarch  was  commemorated 
in  his  sacred  lakes  and  floating  islands  in  Italy,  as  well  as 
in  Britain ;  and  consequently,  that  the  tales  of  the  Britons, 
respecting  such  lakes  and  islands,  are  authentically  derived 
from  heathen  mythology. 

And  such  floating  islands,  or  rafts,  substituted  for  islands, 
seem  to  have  been  generally  viewed  as  symbols  of  the  ark. 

Mr.  Faber  remarks,  that  "  Herodotus  mentions  a  deep 
"  and  broad  lake,  near  Buto,  in  which,  according  to  the 
"  Egyptians,  there  was  a  floating  island.     On  this  island 

*  Ingliir.  Apudr  Annot.  ad  Lactam,  de  Fal.  Rel.  L|.  1.  cap.  13. 



"  was  a  krgfe  temple,  dedicated  to  Apollo,  and  fumishecl 
"  with  three  altars.  It  was  not  supposed,  however,  to  have! 
**  bedn  always  in  a  floating  state,  but  to  have  lost  its  ori- 
"  ginal  firmness,  in  consequence  of  thei  following  circum- 
stance. When  Typhon,  or  the  ocean,  was  roaming 
"through  the  world,  in  (Juest  of  Horus,  or  Apollo,  the 
"  mythological  son  of  Osiris,  Latona,  who  was  one  of  the 
"  primitive  eight  gods,  and  who  dwelt  in  the  city  Buto, 
"  having  received  him  in  trust  from  Isis,  concealed  him 
"  from  the  rage  of  that  destructive  monster  in  this  sacred 

"  island,   which  then  first  began  to  float,"  * "  As  for 

"  the  floating  island  mentioned- by  Herodotus,"  continues 
Mr.  Faber,  "  it  was  probably  only  a  large  raft,  constructed 
"  in  imitation  of  the  ark ;  while  Horus,  whose  temple  was 
"  built  upon  it,  was  the  same  person  as  his  supposed  father 
"  Osiris,  or  Noah,  worshipped  in  conjunction  with  the 
"  sun." 

"  Again :  "  This  mode  of  representing  the  ark  by  a  float- 
"  ing  island,  was  not  exclusively  confined  to  Egypt.  As 
"  Latona  and  Apollo  were  two  of  the  great  gods  wor- 
"  shipped  at  Buto,  so  we  find  the  same  traditions  prevalent 
"  at  Delos,  both  with  respect  to  its  having  once  been  a 
"  floating  island,  and  to  the  various  dangers  by  which 
"  Latona  was  assailed,  "-f 

Delos,  any  more  than  our  Dinbych,  never  wandered  but 
in  fable ;  and  that,  for  the  same  reason,  because  it  was  con- 
secrate4  to  the  Helio-arkite  god ;  who,  in  his  human  capa- 
city, had.  wandered  upon  the  face  of  the  deluge. 

"^ — . —  1 

•  Myst.  of  the  dabiii,  V.  I.  p.  61.     From  Herodot.  L.  II.  c.  156. 

t  lb.  p.  64.    Se«  also  the  lake  and  floating  island  of  Cotjle  in  Italy, 
p.  65,  &c. 

The  same  author  adduces  many  more  instances  in  the 
course  of  his  work,  and  then  remarks  in  general. — "  All 
"  these  lakes  contained  small  sacred  islands,  which  seem  to 
"  have  been  considered  as  emblematical  of  the  ark ;  whence 
*'  those  in  the  lakes  of  Buto  and  Cotyle,  were  supposed  to 
"  have  once  floated."*  Thus  he  solves  the  problem  of  M. 
**  Bailly,  who,  noticing  the  extreme  veneration  of  the  an- 
cients for  islands,  demands  —  f  "  Ne  trouvez-vous  pas, 
*'  Monsieur,  qu'elque  chose  de  singulier,  dans  cet  amour 
"  des  anciens  pour  les  isles  ?  Tout  ce  qu'il  y  a  de  sacr6,  de 
"  grand,  et  d'antique  s'y  est  passe :  pourquoi  les  habitans 
"  du  continent  ont-ils  donne  cet  avantage  aux  isles,  sur  le 
**  continent  memei"'J 

But  the  sacred  islands  of  the  Druids  are  not  always  to  be 
regarded  as  merely  symbolical  of  the  ark.  I  find  that  cer- 
tain islands,  and  rocky  promontories,  whether  in  the  sacred 
lakes,  sestuaries  of  rivers,  or  bays  of  the  sea,  represented 
the  mount  upon  which  the  deified  patriarch  landed,  from 
the  waters  of  the  deluge. 

This  factls  particularly  evident,  in  the  story  of  Gwydd- 
naw  Garanhir,  the  lofty  crane,  priest  of  the  ship,  a  hiero- 
phant,  whose  office  it  was  to  conduct  the  noviciates  through 
a  scenic  representation  of  the  patriarch's  adventures.  To 
this  end,  he  inclosed  the  persons  to  be  initiated  in  coracles, 
covered  with  the  skins  of  beasts,'  launched  them  from  the 


*  V.  II.  p.  4S9.  n. 

+  "  Does  it  not  appear  to  you.  Sir,  that  tliere  is  something  singular  in  this 
" -partiality  of  the  ancients  to  isionds  ?  In  these,  whatever  is  sacred,  great,  or 
"  ancient  has  constantly  occurred,  why  have  the  inhabitants  of  the  continent 
''  given  isJonds  this  advantage  over  the  continent  itself?" 

♦  tettves  sur  I'AtlantiiJe,  p.  361, 


shore  in  Cardigan  bay,  and,  after  they  had  weathered  the 
mimic  deluge,  received  them  safe  upon  a  reef  of  rocks,  I 
suppose,  Sam  Badrig,  or  Patrick's  Causeway,  which  repre- 
sented the  landing-place  of  the  patriarch. 

In  a  curious  poeni,  which  I  shall  have  occasion  to  insert 
in  the  next  section,  this  scene  is  presented  to  view.  The 
probationer  standing  upon  the  shore,  and  about  to  enter  the 
mystic  coracle,  but  observing  that  the  waves  were  rough, 
and  the  rock  at  a  considerable  distance,  exclaims — 

"  Though  I  love  the  sea  beach,  I  dread  the  open  sea ;  a 
"  billow  may  come,  undulating  over  the  stone." 

To  this  the  hierophant  replies— 

"  To  the  brave,  to  the  magnanimous,  to  the  amiable,  to 
the  generous,  who  boldly  embarks,  the  landing-stone  of 
"  the  Bards  will  prove  the  harbour  of  life:  it  has  asserted 
"  the  praise  of  Heilyn,  the  mysterious  impeller  of  the 
sky ;  and  till  the  doom  shall  its  symbol  be  continued." 



As  this  ^cene  was  to  typify  the  passage  through  the  de- 
luge, it  is  evident,  that  the  landing~stone  which  terminated 
that  passage,  and  proved  a-  harbour  of  life,  stood  for  the 
rock  or  mount  upon  which  the  patriarch  arrived  safe,  from 
the  midst  of  the  waters ;  the  same  upon  which  he  built  the 
altar,  and  obtained  the  gracious  promise,  that  the  deluge 
should  return  no  more.  The  Druids  then  regarded  certain 
islands,  or  rocks,  contiguous  to  the  water,  as  symbols  of 
this  mount. 

In  this  sense,  I  regard  the  sacred  rock  which  inclosed  the 



^all  of  the  ox*. — "  Boldly  swells  the  stream  to  its  high 
"  limit — let  the  rock  beyond  the  billow  be  set  in  order  at  the 
"  dawn,  displaying  the  countenance  pf  him  who  receives 
"  the  exile  into  his  sanctuary — the  rock  of  the  supteme  pro- 
prietor, the  chief  place  of  tranquillity."  In  the  name  of 
this  rock,  the  mystic  priest  proclaims-'—"  I  am  the  cell,  I 
"  am  the  opening  chasm — I  am  the  place  of  re-animation !" 
This  was  then  the  landing-stone,  the  harbour  of  life,  where 
the  patriarch  and  his  children  were  restored  to  light  and  ani- 
mation, after  having  passed  through  the  symbolical  death  of 
the  deluge. 

In  allusion  to  this,  the  mystical  Bard  says — "  Existing  of 
"  yore,  in  the  great  seas,  from  the  time  when  the  shout 
"  was  heard,  we  were  put  forth — whilst  smiling  at  the  side 
"  of  the  rock,  Ner  remained  in  calm  tranquillity  ."f 

Nir  was  the  Nereus  of  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  the  great 
abyss,  which  was  now  retiring  in  calm  serenity,  when  the 
patriarch  and  his  family  had  reached  the  sacred  rock. 

To  this  mythology,  the  stories  of  the  sacred  islands  in 
the  lake  of  Lomond  may  have  alluded.  The  Welsh  roman- 
tic chronicles  of  the  twelfth  century  inform  us,  that  this 
lake  receives  sixty  streams  from  the  lieighbouring  hills, 
which  it  unites,  and  puts  forth  in  the  form  of  one  river, 
named  Leven — that  it  contains  sixty  islands,  etach  of  which 
has  a  rock  or  petra,  with  an  eagle's  nest  on  its  top — that 
these  eagles  assemble  annually  at  a  central  petra,  on  May-: 

*  Appendix,  No.  6. 

*  Ibid.  No.  r. 


day,  and  by  their  concert  of  screams,  vaticinate  the  fates  of 
countries  and  kingdoms  for  the  ensuing  year.* 

If,  by  these  eagles,  we  understand  fraternities  of  heathen' 
priests,  who  often  appear  under  that  name,  the  story  may 
have  been  authenticaDy  derived  from  the  mythology  af  the 
country.  ^ 

The  island  of  Bardsea,  so  illustrious  in  Bardic  and  popish 
lore,  seems  to  have  been  one  of  the  rocks  of  the  supreme 
proprietor,  or  places  of  re-animation,  which  commemorated 
the  landing  of  the  patriarch.  Meilyr,  a  celebrated  Bard 
of  the  twelfth  cejitury,  says  of  it— i 

Ynys  glan  yglain 
Gwrthrych  dadwyrain 
Ys  cain  iddi. 

^'  The  holy  islai^d  of  the  Qlain  (adder-stone),  to  which 
f  pertains  a  splendid  representation  of  re-exaltation.  , 

I  might  extend  my  remarks  to  several  other  islands,  as 
that  of  Hu,  lona  or  Icolmkil,  where  popish  superstition 
adopted  the  prejudice  of  its  pagan  ancestor ;  and  even  to 
the  name  of  the  great  hierophant,  Merddin  Vardd,  which 
,  iifiplies  priest  of  the  sea-girt  hill.  But  'as  this  appellation 
has  something  of  an  obsolete  sound,  it  is  familiarized  to 
our  countrymen,  by  making  him  the  son  of  Morvryn,  mount 
in  the  sea.  In  all  this,  the  reader  may  perceive  the  predi- 
lection of  ouf  ancestors  for  certain  small  insular  spots,  whe- 
ther embosomed  in  lakes,  bays,  or  lestuaries  of  rivers. 
The  same  feature  of  superstition  has  presented  itself  to  the 

»  W.  Arehaiol.'  V.  11.  p.  308. 


researches  of  modern  antiquaries.  Thus  Dr.  Borlase  re- 
marks some  huge  remains  of  monuments,  which  are  deemed 
'  Druidical,  in  the  islets  of  Scilly,  more  particularly  in  Tres- 
caw,  which  was  anciently  called  Inis  Caw,  the  island  of  con- 
federacy, whence  a  graduate  in  the  Druidical  school  was 
styled  Bardd  Caw. 

It  is  not  easy  to  determine  with  precision,  which  of  our 
sacred  islands  symbolized  the  wandering  ark,  and  which 
the  stable  mount,  upon  whose  firm  base  the  patriarch  rested 
from  his  toils.  But  they  had  an  intimate  relation  one  to 
the  other;  and  to  some  sijch  sacred  island,  our  mystical 
Bards  refer  the  ultimate  origin  of  their  Diluvian  lore. 

In  the  poem  called  the  spoils  of  the  deep^*  Taliesin  treats 
of  the  deepest  mysteries  of  his  Arkite  theology^ 

"  Am  I  not  contending,"  says  the  Bard,  "  for  the  fame 
"  of  that  song  which  was  four  times  reviewed  in  the  qua- 
"  drangular  Caer,  or  sanctuary  ! — ^As  the  first  sentence,  was 
"  it  uttered  from  the  cauldron,  which  began  to  be  warmed 
"  by  the  breath  of  the  nine  damsels.  Is  not  this  the  caul- 
"  dron  of  the  ruler  of  the  deep .'"  That  is,  the  cauldron  of 
Hu,  the  emperor  of  the  seas.  And  again :  "  Am  not  I  con- 
"  tending  for  the  honour  of  a  song  which  deserves  atten- 
"  tion !  In  the  quadrangular  inclosure,  in  the  island  of  the 
"  strong  door  or  barrier,  the  twilight  and  the  pitchy  dark- 
"  ness  are  mixed  together,  whilst  bright  wine  is  the  beve- 
"  rage  of  the  narrow  circle !" 

The  cauldron  here  mentioned,  as  will  be  seen  in  the  en- 
suiiig  section^  implies  the  whole  system  of  Druidical  lore ; 

'\  It    ••  — — — .— ^ — -^ — -  ' 

,  *  Appendix.  No.  3, 


and  we  are  here  told,  that  the  mythology  of  the  deluge  was 
the  first  of  its  mystical  productions.  This  cauldron  was 
attended  and  originally  prepared  by  nine  damsek,  in  a  qua- 
drangular sanctuary,  within  a  sacred  island.  These  damsels 
are  commemorated  in  the  monuments  of  Cornwall. 

"  On  the  downs,  leading  from  Wadebridge  to  St.  Co- 
"  lumb,  and  about  two  miles  distant  from  it,  is  a  line  of 
"  stones,  bearing  N.  E.  and  S.  W.  This  monument  is  ge- 
"  nerally  called  the  nine  maids."  *  These  maids,  in  whom 
the  Diluvian  lore  originated,  must  be  ultimately  referred  to 
the  Gpyllion,  certain  prophetesses  of  mythology,  who  gave 
the  first  presage  of  the  deluge,  by  their  nightly  songs,  in 
the  bosoms  of  lakes ;  that  •  is,  in  their  sacred  islands,  -j- 
From  these  fabulous  models,  a  sisterhood  of  priest- 
esses and  pretended  prophetesses  seem  to  have  been  esta- 
blished early,  and  to  have  continued  down  to  the  sixth 

Taliesin  mentions  four  damsels,  who  attended  to  lament 
the  death  of  the  priest  of  Hu,  or  perhaps  the  mystical  death 
vf  the  god  himself. % 

Gzm/llion,  the  name  of  these  damsels,  is  the  plural  of 
Gwyll,  which,  in  its  present  acceptation,  is  a  night  wan- 
derer, a. fairy,  a  witch,  &c.  They  are  represented  as  chil- 
dren of  the  evening,  probably  because  it  was  their  office  tflv 
celebrate  certain  nightly  orgies. 

•  Dr.  Borlase's  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  p.  189,  and  PI.  XVII.  Fig.  1. 
■  +  Appendix,  No.  12. 
%  Obid.  No.  10, 


But  what  was  their  island,  with  the  strong  door  ?  I  think  it 
must  be  recognized  in  the  Seon  with  the  strong  door,  men- 
tioned in  the  poem  last  cited.  At  this  spot,  Hu,  or  Aed' 
don,  is  fabled  to  have  arrived  at  the  time  of  the  deluge, 
from  the  land  of  Gwydion. 

That  this  was  an  island,  appears  from  another  mystical 
poem.*  Taliesin,  in  his  approach  to  it,  goes  to  the  mouth 
of  a  river,  where  he  is  met  by  Mvgnach,  the  mysterious,  the 
son  of  Mydnaw,  mover  of  the  ship,  or  of  the  nine,  who 
presided  as  a  sovereign  in  his  sacred  Caer,  and  was  ac- 
knowledged as  the  teacher  of  liberality  and  honour,  and 
the  giver  of  mead  and  wine  (these  are  the  endowments  of 
Hu).  He  invites  the  Bard  to  a  booth,  which  the  latter 
seems  to  avoid  with  dread  and  apprehension. 

Seon,  however,  was  not  properly  the  appellative  of  the 
island,  but  of  certain  mystical  personages,  who  communi- 
cated their  own  name  to  it,  and  who  seem  to  have  been  no 
other  than  the  Gwyllion,  or  prophetic  maids  above  men- 
tioned. Like  the  muses  of  old,  they  were  the  patronesses 
of  poetry  and  music.    Taliesin  says — 

Ef  cyrch  cerddorion  Se  syberw  <S«ow. 

"'  The  tuneful  tribe  will  resort  to  the  magnificent  Se  of 
"  the  S'eon."\ 

There  was  some  signal  disaster  attendant  upon  the  fall  of 
one  of  these  ladies :  hence  the  Bards  use  the  simile,  in  il- 
lustrating a  hopeless  calamity.     Thus — 

•  Appendix,  No.  8. 
t  W.  Archaiol.  p.  40. 

'  168 

Astius  chwedl  ry  chweiris  i  Gymry 
Ystryw  chwerw,  nid  chweriau  ryle— ^ 
Ail  yrth,  ail  syrth  Se — 
Ail  diliw  dilain  dfaig  erhy. 

"  A  doleful  tale  to  the  Cymry,  sports  about — Of.  bitter 
"  stratagem,  not  fair  contention  for  superiority;  like  the 
"  concussion,  like  the  fall  of  a  Si^-^like  the  deluge  that 
"  afflicted  the  intrepid  dragon."  * 

Druidism,^  then,  is  asserted  to  have  originated  in  the  sa- 
cred island  of  the  Seon,  where  the  mysteries  of  iZiw,  the 
Helio-arkite  god,  considered  in  the  character  of  Bacchus, 
were  celebrated  by  nine  priestesses;  who  had  the  title  of 
Gwyllion.  This  brings  our  Bardic  mythology  again  into 
contact  with  classical  authority.  For  our  S'eon  corresponds 
with  the  Sena,  and  our  Gwyllion  with  the  GalliceneB  of 
Pomponius  Mela. 

"  Sena,"  says  that  geographer,  "  situated  in  the  British 
"  sea,  over  against  the  land  of  the  Osismii,  is  famous  for 
"  the  oracle  of  a  Gaulish  deity,  whose  priestesses,  devoted 
"  to  perpetual  virginity,  are  said  to  be  nine  in  niim- 
"  ber.  They  are  called  Gallicenee,  supposed  to  be  of  great 
"  genius,  and  rare  endowments ;  capable  of  raising  storms 
"  by  their  incantations,  of  transfoiming  themselves  into  what 
"  animals  they  please,  of  curing  ailments,  reckoned  by 
"  others  beyond  the  reach  of  medicine ;  quick  at  discern- 
"  ing,  and  able  to  foretel  what  is  to  come;  but  easy  of 
"  address  only  to  sailors,  and  to  those  who  come  into  thi& 
"  island  on  purpose  to  consult  them."f 

•  Gwaiclimni       W.  Arcliai«l.  p.  202. 
t  Lib,  III.  c,  8. 


fhk  spot  must  have  been  near  the  Land's-end,  or  amongst 
the  Scilly  islands;  but  as  the  different  Celtic  tribes  had, 
probably,  several  Caer  Seons,  with  estabhshments  some- 
what differing  from  each  other,  I  find  a  Sena  in  the  British 
seas,  mentioned  by  Strabo,  which  in  some  particulars  comes 
nearer  to  our  Bardic  mythology. 

Men  never  landed  here,  but  the  women,  passing  over  iii 
ships,  and  having  conversed  with  their  husbands,  returned 
again  to  the  island,  and  to  their  charge,  which  was  to  wor-> 
ship  Bacchus,  the  god  to  whom  they  were  consecrated,  with 
rites  and  sacrifices.  Every  year  it  was  their  custom  to 
unroof  their  temple,  and  to  renew  the  covering  the  same 
day,  before  sun-set,  by  the  united  labours  of  all  the  women ; 
of  whom,  if  any  one  dropped  or  lost  the  burden  she  was 
carrying,  to  complete  the  sacred  work,  she  was  torn  in 
pieces  by  the  rest,  and  the  several  limbs  of  this  unhappy 
companion  they  carried  round  their  temple,  with  rejoicings 
proper  to  the  solemnities  of  Bacchus,  until  their  fury 
abated.  Of  this  cruel  rite,  Strabo  says,  thefe  always  hap- 
pened some  instance,  whenever  the  annual  solemnity  of  un- 
covering the  temple  was  celebrated.* 

The  Gallicena:  of  Mela  were  evidently  priestesses  of  Ked 
or  Ceridwen,  the  mythological  consort  of  the  Arkite  god ; 
and  to  her,  the  singular  qualities  ascribed  to  them  properly 
appertained.  It  will  be  seen  in  the  ensuing  section,  that 
her  knowledge  and  genius  were  very  extraordinary.  She 
was  an  enchantress— she  could  assume  the  form  of  what- 
soever animal  she  pleased.  She  was  eminently  skilled  in 
medicine,  and  both  possessed  herself,  and  could  communi- 
cateto  her  priests,  a  view  of  all  future  events. 

^lib.  IV.    See  Dr.  Borlase'*  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  p.  87, 


Strabo's  priestesses  were  immediately  consecrated  to  Hu, 
the  British  Bacchus,  whose  cell,  quadrangular  inclosure,  or 
stall  of  the  ox,  they  covered  annually  with  branches.  The 
geographer's  narrative  fully  illustrates  the  meaning  of  our 
Bards,  when  they  allude  to  the  calamitous  slip  of  one  <^ 
this  sisterhood. 

Agreeably  to  the  Helio-arkite  superstition,these  personages 
exercised  their  sacred  function  in  the  bosoms  of  lakes  or 
bays,  which  represented  the  deluge,  and  within  the  verge 
of  consecrated  islands,  the  symbols  either  of  the  floating 
ark,  or  of  the  spot  upon  which  the  patriarch  disembarked. 

As,  then,  the  deified  patriarch,  or  his  representative,  was 
supposed  to  have  his  usual  residence  in  such  situations,  and 
as  the  office  of  the  sacred  oxen  was  to  submit  their  necks 
to  the  car  of  the  lofti/  one,  we  may  perceive  what  is  meant 
by  that  important  rite,  of  drawing  the  avanc  out  of  the 
lake.  It  could  imply  nothing  more,  than  drawing  the 
shrine  of  the  Diluvian  god  from  his  symbolical  ark,  to  the 
rock  of  debarkation,  preparatory  to  his  periodical  visits  to 
his  temples  and  sanctuaries,  upon  firm  groimd ;  or  investing 
him  with  the  empire  of  the  recovered  earth. 

The  Bards  supply  many  curious  hints  respecting  the  rites 
tised  upon  this  occasion. 

The  usual  residence  of  this  tauriform  god,  was  in  his 
consecrated  cell,  or  ox-stall,  on  a  rock  surrounded  with  the 
billows,  the  rock  of  the  supreme  proprietor,  the  chief  place 
of  tranquillity^.  At  a  certain  season,  his  festival  com- 
mences with  the  adorning  of  the  rock  and  the  cell ;  then  a 
solemn  proclamation  is  issued,  the  bacchanals  hasten  to  the 
joUy  cafousal,   and,   amongst  other  extravagances,  pierce 


their  thighs,  so  as  to  cause  an  effusion  of  blood.*  This  was 
at  the  season  of  May,  or  when  the  song  of  the  Cuckoo 
convenes  the  appointed  dance  over  the  green.f 

"  Eminent  is  the  virtue  of  the  free  course,  when  this 
"  dance  is  performed;  loud  is  the  horn  of  the  lustrator, 
"  when  the  kine  move  in  the  evening.''^ 

And  the  dance  is  performed  with  solemn  festivity  about 
the  lakes,  round  which  and  the  sanctuary  the  priests  move 
sideways,  whilst  the  sanctuary  is  earnestly  invoking  the 
gliding  king  (the  dragon,  Bacchus),  before  whom  the  fair 
one  retreats,  upon  the  veil  that  covers  the  huge  stones. 
This  is  also  the  time  of  libation,  and  of  slaying  the 
victim.  § 

This  sanctuary  is  in  the  island  which  had  floated  on  the 
wide  lake,  but  was  now  fixed  on  the  margin  of  the  flood. 
Here  the  sacred  ox,  the  Ych  Banawg,  is  sta;tioned  before 
the  lake,  to  draw  the  shrine  through  the  shallow  water  to 
dry  ground.  There  is  the  retinue  of  the  god,  there  is  the 
procession,  there  the  eagle  waves  aloft  in  the  air,  marking 
the  path  of  Granwyn,  the  sokr  deity,  the  pervading  and, 
invincible  sovereign.  || 

Aneurin,  as  an  eye  witness,  thus  describes  the  solemnities 
of  this  ceremony,  and  an  accident,  or  mystical  incident,  which 
attended  its  celebration. 

•  Appendix,  No.  6. 
+  Ibid.  No.  12. 
t  Ibid.  No.  4. 
§  Ibid.  No.  11. 
I  Ibid.  No,  2. 

"  Ih  the  presence  of  the  blessed  ones,  before  the  great 
"  assembly,  before  the  occupiers  of  the  holme  (the  priests 
"  of  the  sacred  island),  when  the  house  (shrine  of  the  god) 
"  was  recovered  from  the  swamp  (drawn  out  of  the  shallow 
"  water)  surrounded  with  crooked  horns  and  croolced 
''  swords,  in  honour  of  the  mighty  king  of  the  plains,  the 
"  king  of  open  countenance  (Bacchus) ;  I  saw  dark  gore 
"  (from  the  frantic  gashes  of  the  bacchanals)  arising  on 
"  the  stalks  of  plants,  on  the  clasp  of  the  chain  (of  the 
"  oxen),  on  the  bunches  (ornaments  of  their  collars),  on 
"  the  sovereign  (the  god  himself),  on  the  bush  and  the 
"  spear  (the  thyrsus).  Ruddy  was  the  sea  beach,  whilst 
"  the  circular  revolution  was  perfoimed  by  the  attendants^ 
"  and  the  white  bands,  in  graceful  extravagance^ 

"  The  assembled  train  were  dancing  after  the  manner, 
"  and  singing  in  cadence,  with  garlands  on  their  brows : 
"  loud  was  the  clattering  of  shields  round  the  ancient  caul- 
"  dron,  in  frantic  mirth ;  and  lively  was  the  countenance  of 
"  him  who,  in  hi^  prowess,  had  snatched  over  the  ford  that 
"  involved  ball,  which  casts  its  rays  to  a  distance,  the 
"  splendid  product  of  the  adder,  shot  forth  by  serpents.-" 

(This  was  a  priest,  who  was  fabled  to  have  obtained  the 
Anguinum,  in  the  manner  described  by  Pliny :  the  acqui- 
sition seems  to  have  procured  him  the  privilege  of  personi- 
fying the  god.) 

"  But,"  continues  the  Bard,  "  wounded  art  thou,  se- 
"  verely  wounded,  thou  delight  of  princesses,  thou  who 
"  lo^nedst  the  living  herd!  It  was  my  earnest  wish  that  thou 
"  jnightest  live,  thou  of  victorious  energy  !  Ah,  thou  bull, 
"  wrongfully  oppressed,  thy  death  I  deplore  —thou  hast 
"  been  a  friend  to  tranquillity!  In  view  of  the  sea,  in  the 


^  front  of  assembled  men,  and  near  the  pit  of  conflict,  the 
"  raven  has  pierced  thee  in  wrath."* 

Whether  the  wounding  of  this  hull,  who  represented  the 
taurine  god,  was  an  unforeseen  accident,  or  a  customary 
mystical  incident,  I  am  not  mythologist  enough  to  ascertain. 
But,  upon  the  whole,  it  may  be  asserted,  that  in  the  so- 
lemnities here  described,  the  ancients  may  have  perceived 
legitimate  rites  of  the  orgies  of  Bacchus ;  and  we  may  con- 
clude, that  it  was  something  of  this  kind  that  Strabo  and 
Dionysius  had  in  view,  when  they  ascribed  the  wprship  of 
that  god  to  the  British  islands, 

The  similarity  of  these  rites  with  those  of  other  heathens, 
might  be  proved  in  almost  every  particular;  but  I  shall 
only  produce  three  or  four  passages,  as  bearing  generally 
upon  the  subject. 

Sophocles  thus  invokes  the  Bacchus  of  the  Greeks.*]- 

"  Immortal  leader  of  the  maddening  choir, 

"  Whose  torches  blaze  with  unextinguish'd  fire, 

"  Great  son  of  Jove,  who  guid'st  the  tuneful  throng, 

^'  Thou  who  presid'st  over  the  nightly  song, 

f  Come,  with  thy  Naician  maids,  a  festive  train, 

"  Who,  wild  with  joy,  and  raging  o'er  the  plain, 

('  jFor  thee  the  dance  prepare,  to  thee  devote  the  strain"! 

Here,  as  well  as  amongst  the  Britons,  this  god  has  his 
f  esidence  in  a  small  island,  Naxos,  where  he  is  attended  by 

*  Appendix,  No,  14. 

-t  Antig.  V.  1162. 

t    TranelfUn'i  fanshtion. 


his  frantic  priestesses,  and  from  whence  he  begins  his  pro- 
gress, with  the  nightly  song  and  extravagant  dance.  Ano- 
ther band  of  his  priestesses  welcome  him  to  land  at  Elis,  in 
the  hymn  recorded  by  Plutarch. — 

"  Come,  hero  Dionusus,  to  thy  temple  on  the  sea  shore; 
"  come,  heifer-footed  deity,  to  thy  sacrifice,  and  bring  the 
"  graces  in  thy  train!  Hear  us,  O  bull,  worthy  of  our 
"  veneration ;  hear  us,  O  illustrious  bull!"  * 

The  following  passages  of  Euripides,  preserved  by  Strabo,-^ 
Tepresent  the  rites  of  this  god  much  in  the  same  manner 
as  our  British  Bards,  allowing  for  the  homeliness  of  the 
-Celtic  muse. 

"  Happy  the  man  who,  crown'd  with  ivy  zereaths, 

"  And  brandishing  his  thyrsus, 
*'  The  mystic  rites  of  Cuba  understands, 

"  And  worships  mighty  Dionusus. 
"  Haste,  ye  Bacchae ! 
**  Haste,  bring  our  god,  Sabazian  Bromus, 
"  From  Phrygia's  mountains  to  the  realms  of  Greece.* 

"  On  Ida's  summit,  with  his  mighty  mother, 
"  Young  Bacchus  leads  the  frantic  train, 
"  And   through  the  echoing  woods  the   rattling  timbreh 
"  sound." 

*  QusBst.  Grasc.  p.  299. 
+  Lib.  %, 


"  Then  the  Curetes  clasb'd  their  sounding  arms, 
"  And  raised,  with  joyful  voice,  the  song 

"  To  Bacchus,  ever  young ; 

"  While  the  shrill  pipe 
*'  Resounded  to  the  praise  of  Cybel^, 
*'  And  the  gay  Satyrs  tripp'd  in  jocund  dance, 
"  Such  dance  as  Bacchus  loves."  * 

These  descriptions  correspond  with  the  rites  of  the  British 
Bacchus;  but  the  reader  will,  perhaps,  inquire  for  the 
mighty  mother  of  the  god,  who  makes  so  conspicuous  a 
figure  in  the  Grecian  Bard. 

I  have  already  mentioned,  incidentally,  a  female  cha- 
racter, as  connected  with  the  Helio-arkite  god  of  the 
Britons.  This  goddess,  who  is,  at  one  time,  represented 
as  the  mother  of  that  deity,  and,  at  other  times,  as  his 
consort  or  his  daughter,  J)articipates  in  all  his  honours  and 
prerogatives ;  so  that,  what  is  now  attributed  to  the  one, 
is  again  presently  ascribed  to  the  other.  She  comes  under 
a  variety  of  names,  as  Ked,  Ceridwen,  Lldd,  Awen,  and 
many  others ;  and  she  has  a  daughter,  named  Creirwy  or 
JJywy,  whose  attributes  are  not  easily  distinguished  from 
those  of  her  mother.  At  present,  I  shall  only  touch  upon 
a  few  particulars  of  this  character,  and  note  some  of  its 
analogies  with  general  mythology,  reserving  what  I  have 
farther  to  say  upon  the  subject  to  another  section. 

,    Ked,  or   Ceridwen,  presides  in  the  same  floating  sanc- 
tuary which  was  sacred  to  the  Arkite  god.-f-    She,  as  well 

•  Mr.  Faber's  translation  Mjsf.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.'ll.  .p.  329. 
t  Appendix,  Ko.  1  and  4. 


as  that  god,  is  proprietor  of  the  mystic  cauldron.*  In 
conjunction  with  Hit,  she  has  the  title  of  ruler  of  the  Bri-, 
tish  tribes,  f  Consequently,  the  privilege  of  investing  the 
cbief  Bard,  or  priest,  with  the  dominion  of  Britain,  per^ 
tains  to  her,  conjointly  with  the  Arkite  god.:j;. 

In  order  to  discover  what  is  meant  by  this  character,  it 
may  be  remarked,  that  her  s3'mbol,  or  distinguishing  attri- 
bute, was  a  sacred  boat.  §  And  she  is  even  identified  with 
the  boat,  or  vessel,  which  was  fabricated  by  the  Diluvian 
patriarch.  "  Let  truth  be  ascribed  to  Menwyd,  the  dragon 
"  chief  of  the  world,  who  formed  the  curvatures  of  K^d 
"  (the  ark),  which  passed  the  dale  of  grievous  waters,  hav- 
"  ing  the  fore  part  stored  with  corn,  and  mounted  aloft, 
<'  with  the  connected  serpents."  ||  Hence  she  is  represented 
in  this  poem,  as  the  daughter  of  that  god.  '*  Then  shall 
"  the  great  ones  be  broken:  they  shall  have  jtheir  feeble 
"  wanderings  beyond  the  effusion  (deluge)  of^the  father  of 
"  Ked."  And  as  the  deified  patriarch  was  symbolized  by 
the  sun,  so  the  goddess  of  the  boat  and  the  cauldron  was 
venerated  in  conjunction  with  the  moon.^ 

Hence  it  appears,  that  this  goddess,  by  whatever  name 
she  was  distinguished,  may  be  regarded  as  a  personification 
of  the  ark;  or  else  as  an  imaginary  genius,  supposed  to 
preside  over  that  sacred  vessel;  and  therefore  connected 

•  Ibid.  No.  1,  2,  and  4,  and  Gododin,  Song  24. 

t  Gododin,  Song  2^.       ^  ' 

t  Compare  Appendix,  No.  1  afid  12. 

§  Ibid.  No.  9. 

1]  Ibid.  Np.  12. 

J!  See  Cadair  Taliejiu  ip  the  ensuing  septiion. 


Tvith  the  Arldte  god,  and  dignified,  like  him,  with  a  celes- 
tial symbol. 

But  the  god  Hu  was  represented  by  a  bull,  and  presided 
in  his  sacred  stall.  It  is  also  probable,  that  the  female 
deity  was  sometimes  viewed  under  the  emblem  of  &  cozv, 
and  had  animals  of  this  species  set  apart  for  the  sacred 
office  of  drawing  her  shrine. 

The'  Triads  mention  three  mythological    cows,   one   of 
which,  I  suppose,  was  the  symbol  of  this  goddess,  whilst 
the  other  two  were  devoted  to. her  service.*     And  in  the 
poem  of  the  Ogdoad,-f  we  find  the  spotted  cow,  which  at  the 
era  of  the  flood  procured  a  blessing.     On  the  serene  day 
(before  the  commencement  of  the  storm)  she  bellowed :  on 
the  eve  of  May  she  was  boiled  (tossed  about  by  the  deluge), 
and  on  the,  spot  where  her  boiling  was  completed,   the 
Diluvian  patriarch  found  rest.     Great  must  have  been  the 
'  honours  conferred  upon  this  coze,  when  the  preservation  of 
her  sacred  stall  was  deemed  of  such  importance,  that,  witK- 
viit  it,  the  world  would  become  desolate,  not  requiring  the  song 
of  the  cuckoo  to  convene  the  appointed  dance  over  the  gi^een. 
The  cow  being  the  symbol  of  this  goddess,  furnishes  a 
probable  reason  why  that  island,  in  which  her  worship  emi- 
nently prevailed,  was  called  'Ynys  Mon,  the  island  of  the 

Such  fantastical  coihmemorations  of  that  sacred  ark,  in 
which  the  Divine  Providence  sa,ved  an  expiring  world,  were 
not  peculiar  to  the  pagan  Britgns. 


*  W.  Archaiol.  Vol.  II.  p.  82. 
+  Appendix,  No.  12. 


"  The  various  goddesses  of  paganism,"  says  Mr.  Faber, 
"  seem  to  be  all  one  and  the  same  mythological  character ; 
"  though  they  sometimes  represent  the  moon,  sometim  e 
"  the  ark,  and  sometimes  the  globe  of  the  earth,  emerging^ 
"  froUx  the  waters  of  the  deluge."  * 

Again — "  Most,  indeed,  of  the  ancient  goddesses  are  so  far 
"  the  same,  that  their  several  mythological  histories  appear 
"  almost  universally  to  relate,  partly  to  the  catastrophe  of 
"  the  deluge,  and  partly  to  the  worship  of  the  heavenly 
"  bodies.  The  world,  rising  from  the  midst  of  the  waters, 
"  the  ark,  wandering  over  their  surface,  and  upon  the 
"  introduction  of  Sabianism,  the  lunar  crescent,  seem  to  be 
"  alike  described  in  the  diversified  characters  of  all  and 
"  each  of  them.  Their  names,  moreover,  are  perpetually  , 
"  interchanged,  so  that  one  goddess  is  not  uniformly  a  per- 
"  sonification  of  the  ark,  another  of  the  moon,  and  a  third 
"  of  the  earth ;  but,  on  the  contrary,  all  these  various  ob- 
"  jects  of  worship  are  frequently  symbohzed,  upon  diflerent 
"  occasions,  by  one  and  the  same  deity.  Thus  Venus,  Der~ 
"  ceto,  Isis,  Ceres,  Proserpine,  and  Latond,  are  severally 
"  and  equally  the  moon,  the  renovated  globe,  and  the  ark 
"  of  Noah."t 

The  same  author  remarks,  that  the  deified  ark  was  some- 
times considered  as  the  mother,  sometimes  as  the  daughter, 
and  sometimes  as  the  consort  of  its  builder :  :|:  and  that  a 
cow, '  or  heifer,  was  the  most  usual  emblem  of  the  ark.§ 

♦  Mysteries  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  17". 
+  Ibid.  p.  138. 
i  Ibid.  p.  182. 
§  Ibid.  p.  177.  &c. 


Mr.  Faber  also  takes  notice  of  a  rite  mentioned  by  Ta 
citu^  as  prevalent  amongst  the  Germans  (the  neighbours 
of  our  Celts),  "  In  which  we  behold  the  great  goddess  con- 
"  nected,  as  in  the  mysteries  of  Egypt  (and  Britain),  with 
"  the  small  lake,  the  consecrated  island,  arid  the  symbolical 

"  In  an  island  in  the  ocean  (says  the  historian)  is  a  sacred 
"  grove,  and  in  it  a  chariot,  covered  with  a  garment  (the 
"  Lien  of  our  Bards),  which  the  priest  alone  can  lawfully 
"  touch.  At  particular  seasons,  the  goddess  is  supposed 
"  to  be  present  in  this  sanctuary ;  she  is  then  drawn  in  her 
"  car  by  heifers,  with  much  reverence,  and  followed  by  the 
"  priests.  During  this  period,  unbounded  festivity  prevails, 
"  and  all  wars  are  at,  an  end,  till  the  priest  restores  the 
"  deity  to  the  temple,  satiated  with  the  conversation  of 
"  mortals.  Immediately  the  chariot,  the  garments,  and 
"  even  the  goddess  herself,  are  plunged  beneath  the  waters 
*'  of  a  secret  lake." 

Upon  this  passage,  our  author  observes,  that  this  portable 
shrine,  drawn  by  oxen,  was  one  of  the  same  nature  as  that 
of  Agruerus  or  Noah,  mentioned  by  Sanchoniatho ;  and 
that  it  is  not  in^probable,  that  the  mode  which  the  Philis- 
tines adopted,  of  sending  home ,  the  ark  of  God,  was  bor- 
rowed from  this  very  superstition.  Willing  to  pay  it  all 
possible  honour,  they  conveyed  it,  like  the  shrine  of  the 
-  great  iJ^cenician  deity,  Agruerus,  in  a  cart  drawn  by  cows. 

"  Now,  therefore,  make  a  new  cart,  and  take  two  milch 
"  kine,  on  which  there  hath  come  no  yoke,  and  tie  the 
"  kine  to  the  cart,  and  bring  their  calves  home  from  them ; 
"  and  take  the  ark  of  the  Lord,  and  lay  it  upon  the  cart; 
"  and  put  the  jewels  of  gold,  which  ye  return  him  for  a 

'N  2 


"  trespass  offering,  in  a  coffer  by  the  side  thereof;  and  send 
"  it  away,  that  it- may  go."* 

Thus  it  appears,  that  the  symbols  and  rites  by  which  our 
ancestors. commemorated  the  patriarch  and  his  sacred  vessel, 
had  a  close  analogy  with  the  superstition  of  the  ancient 

And  now,  having  ascertained  these  facts,  let  me  take  a 
brief  retrospect  of  the  ground  over  which  I  have  gone. 

In  the  course  of  the  present  section,  I  have  produced  a. 
mass  of  evidence,  that  the  mythology  and  rites  of  the 
Druids  have  a  reference  to  the  history  of  the  deluge,  com- 
bined with  Sabian  idolatry :  that  this  people  had  preserved 
many  heathen  traditions  respecting  the  deluge;  that  they 
recognized  the  character  of  the  patriarch  Noah,  whom  they 
worshipped  as  a  god,  in  conjunction  with  the  sun ;  that 
this  Helio-arkite  deity  was  their  chief  god,  appropriating 
the  attributes  of  most  of  the  principal  gods  of  the  Gentiles, 
but  more  particularly  corresponding  in  character  with  Bac- 
chus; that  his  symbols  and  titles  point  out  his  identity  with 
this  deity ;  that  the  rites  by  which  he  was  honoured,  were 
connected  with  the  superstitious  veneration  of  certain  sacred 
lakes^  rivers,  islands,  and  rocks;  that  these  rites  were  appro- 
priate to  the  orgies  of  Bacchus ;  that  the  worship  of  this 
god  was  connected  with  that  of  a  goddess,  who  represented 
the  ark ;  and  that  aU  this  corresponds,  as  history  requires  it 
should  correspond,  with  the  general  superstition  of  other 
nations,  and  is  therefore  derived  from  the  same  source. 

We  are,  indeed,  furnished  with  several  hints,  some  of 

I  ■  — > — 

+  Myst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  213, 


which  I  shall  produce  in  the  sequel,  that  the  worship  of  the 
sun  was  an  adventitious  branch,  grafted  at  some  remote 
period  into  the  religion  of  our  ancestors.  But  as  for  the 
Arkite  superstion,  and  the  idolatrous  veneration  of  the  great 
patriarch,  we  have  seen,  that  the  country  of  the  Cambro- 
Britons,  even  in  the  present  age,  is  full  of  traditions, 
which  must  be  referred,  exclusively,  to  certain  local  and 
national  commemorations  of  the  deluge.  And  the  same 
traditions  are  recognized  by  the  poets  of  the  middle  ages, 
who  add  a  strong'  confirnaation  to  them,  by  the  positive 
assertion,  thp.t  the  patriarch  who  survived  the  deluge,  had 
been  acknowledged  as  a  great  god  by  the  ancient  Bards,  or 
Druids  of  Britain. 

It  also  appears,  that  the  mythological  Triads,  which  we 
regard  as  the  most  venerable  memorials  of  our  progenitors, 
describe  Hu,  the  great  deified  patriarch  and  legislator,  with 
certain  characteristical  traits,  which  can  only  be  verified  in 
the  history  of  Noah. 

And  that  Anenrin,  the  contemporary  of  Hengist,  and 
Taliesin,  the  president  of  the  Bards  in  the  sixth  century ; 
that  great  repository  of  tradition,  which  was  ancient  in  his 
days;  that  bigot  to  the  religion  of  his  forefathers,  which 
he  was  not  ashamed  openly  to  profess,  acknowledged  the 
same  Hu  as  the  mystical  ruler  oj^  Britain,  ajld  as  the  god  of 
ancient  Mona,  the  accredited  seat  of  the  Druids.  In  that 
consecrated  spot,  this  Diluvian  god  had  no  avowed  supe- 
rior;  for  Mona  was  the  island  of  the  praise  of  Hu — the  island 
qf  IJu,  the  severe  remunerator. 

This  could  have  been  no  i^ew  superstition  in  the  days  of 
Taliesin.     For  the  fabrication  of  such  an  idolatrous  system 


hy  that  Bard,  no  adequate  motives  can  be  assigned.  Such 
a  fabrication,  if  attempted,  could  not  have  been  rendered 
permanent  and  national;  nor  would  the  learning  of  his  age 
have  carried  him  through  the  task  of  devising  a  system, 
which  could  tally  with  the  remotest  traditions  of  the  hea- 
then nations,  and  with  the  elucidation  of  those  traditions 
by  the  best  scholars  of  our  own  times,  in  so  many  minute 
particulars.  What  Taliesin  has  given  us  is,  then,  the 
genuine  opinion  of  the  Druids  of  the  sixth  century,  re- 
specting the  religion  of  their  remote  predecessors :  and  we 
have  sufficient  reason  to  conclude,  that  the  chain  which 
connected  them  with  those  predecessors,  was  neither  slack 
nor  feeble. 

It  is,  then,  a  certain  fact,  that  the  Druids  did  pay  an 
idolatrous  homage  to  the  patriarch  Noah,  and  to  the  vessel 
which  carried  him  safe  through  the  waters  of  the  deluge. 
In  this  superstition,  they  had  almost  lost  sight  of  the  one 
supreme  God,  vphose  providence  alone  had  protected  the 
righteous  man,  and  his  tottering  ark. 

And  I  cannot  account  for  their  ascending  thus  high  in 
their  traditions,  and  there  stopping  at  once ;  nor  for  their 
retaining  just  ideas  of  the  patriarchal  character,  viewed  as 
a  man,  in  the  midst  of  the  grossest  superstition  and  errors, 
without  supposing  that  their  ancestors,  at  some  period  of 
their  history,  had  respected  the  righteous  l^ws  of  Noah, 
and  professed  his  pure  rehgipn,  notwithstanding  the  depth 
to  which  they  had  fallen  in  the  course  of  ages. 

However  this  may  have  been,  I  shall  keep  hold  of  the 
facts  developed  in  this  section,  and  apply  them  as  a  clue,  in 
tracing  out  some  of  the  hidden  recesses  of  this  ancient  su- 



The  Character,  Connexions,  and  mystical  Rites  of  KSd,  or 
Ceridwen,  the  Arkite  Goddess  of  the  Druids.  Her  Iden- 
tity with  the  Ceres  of  Antiquity. 

JL  HE  detection  of  those  divine  honours,  which  the  Bri- 
tish sage  awarded  to  the  patriarch  Noah,  under  whe^tever 
title;  the  magnificent  mention  of " the  ship  of  Nevydd;  and 
the  commemorations  of  the  deluge  upon  the  borders  of  the 
lakes  of  Cambria,  encourage  me  to  search  for  some  farther 
vestiges  of  that  kind  of  superstition,  and  of  those  mystic 
rites,  which  Mr.  Bryant  terms  Arkite;  which  he  considers 
at  large  in  the  second  volume  of  his  Analysis;  and  which 
he  finds  widely  diffused  over  the  Gentile  world. 

According  to  this  very  eminent  writer,  all  the  mysteries  of 
the  heathen  nations  seem  to  have  been  meni(jrials  of  the  deluge, 
and  of  the  events  which  immediately  succeeded.  He  remarks, 
that  those  mysteries  consisted,  for  the  most  part,  of  a 
melancholy  process,  and  were  celebrated  by  night  with 
torches,  in  commemoration  of  that  state  of  darkness,  in 
which  the  patriarch  and  his  family  had  been  involved.* 

To  be  more  particular ;  he  remarks,  that  ia  these  mystic 

•  Analysis  V.  II.  p.  331. 


rites,  the  ark  of  Noah  was  an  object  of  superstitious  vene- 
ration, over  which  a  divinity  was  represented  as  presiding; 
and  that  this  character  was  known  by  the  several  names  of 
Silene,  Isis,  Ceres,  Rhea,  Vesta,  Cybele,  Archia,  Niobe, 
and  Melissa,  which  were  the  same :  these  being  only  titles, 
by  which  that, female  personage  was  described,  who  was 
supposed  to  be  the  genius  of  the  ark,  and  the  mother  of 

And  as  this  personage  was  the  genius  of  the  ark,  so  our 
author  takes  notice,  that  the  celebration  of  her  mysteries 
in  the  British  islands,  stands  upon  ancient  record.  Having 
quoted  the  authority  of  Artemidorus  upon  this  subject,  Mr. 
Bryant  thus  declares  his  own  opinion. — "  I  make  no  doubt, 
"  but  that  this,  history  was  true,  and  that  the  Arkite  rites 
"  prevailed  in  many  parts  of  Britain."-!' 

,  Holding  in  my  hand  the  clue  presented  to  me  in  the  pre- 
ceding section  of  this  Essay,  and  walking  in  the  shade  of 
this  giant  of  erudition,  who  clears  the  way  before  me,  I^ 
shall  now  proceed'  to  the  Druidical  precinct,  in  search  of 
the  British  Ceres :  and  I  think  I  distinguish  her  character 
and  history  in  the  celebrated  goddess  Ked,  or  Ceridwen, 
whom  I  have  already  remarked  in  close  connection  with  the 
Arkite  god. 

Mr.  Owen^  in  his  Cambrian  Biography,  describes  Cerid- 
wen as  "  A  female  personage,  in  the  mythology  of  the 
"  Britons,  considered  as  the  Jirst  of  womankind,  having 
"  neariy  the  same  attributes  with  Venus,  in  whom  are  per- 
f'  sonified  the  generative  powers." 

*  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  268. 
+  Ibid.  p.  47S. 


In  this  description,  she  is  evidently  acknowledged  as  the 
great  mother  u  and  Mr.  Bryant  says  of  Ceres,  that  she  was 
named  da  mater,  or  the  mother,  because  she  was  esteemed 
(as  representative  of  the  ark)  the  common  parent,  the. mother 
of  all  mankind.* 

In  the  introductory  section  of  this  Essay,  I  quoted  se- 
veral passages  from  those  Bards  who  lived  under  the  Welsh 
princes,  in  which  Ceridvven  is  mentioned.  They  uniformly 
represent  this  character,  as  having  pertained  to  the  super- 
stition of  the  primitive  Bards,  or  Druids^  They  describe 
her,  as  having  presided  over  the  most  hidden  mysteries  of 
that  ancient  superstition ;  and  as  a  personage,  from  whom 
alone  the  secrets  of  their  fanatical  priesthood  were  to  be 
obtained  in  purity  and  perfection.  They  also  intimate, 
that  it  was  requisite  for  those  who  aspired  to  the  chair  of 
presidency,  to  have  tasted  the  waters  of  inspiration  from 
her  sacred  cauldron,  or,  in  other  words,  to  have  been  ini- 
tiated into  her  mysteries. 

All  thi-s  clearly  points  towards  some  solemn  rites  of  our 
remote  progenitors:  and,  for  such  rites,  we  can  find  no 
parallel  amongst  the  heathen  priesthood  of  other  nations, 
if  we  except  the  celebrated  mysteries  of  Ceres,  Isis,  or  Cy- 
bele,  all  which  names  Mr.  Bryant  refers  to  the  same  his- 
tory and  character. 

But  it  may  be  asked,  if  Ceridwen  has  the  attributes  of 
Venus,  why  should  I  labour  to  connect  her  more  particularly 
with  the  character  of  Ceres'? 

I  must  .observe,  in  reply,  that  this  station  seems  to  be 

•  Analjrjtis  V.  II.  p. 


pointed  out  for  her  by  the  most  obvious  mythological  ana- 
logy. The  most  familiar  idea  which  was  entertained  of 
Ceres,  presented  her  as  the  goddess  of  corn ;  as  having  in- 
troduced the  art  of  tillage,  and  taught  mankind  to  sow  the 
land,  and  cultivate  the  various  species  of  grain. 

The  reader  may  recollect  a  passage  of  Cuhelyn,  a  Bard  of 
he  sixth  or  eighth  century,  which  I  have  already  quoted, 
and  which  delineates  the  character  of  Ceridwen  by  one 
impressive  epithet — she  is  styled  Ogyrven  Amhad,  the  god- 
dess of  various  seeds.  Thus  Ceres  and  Ceridwen  unite  by  a 
single  touch.  And  our  British  Ceres,  agreeably  to  Mr. 
Bryant's  observation,  was  the  genius  of  the  ark.  Her  attri- 
bute was  a  boat,  and  she  was  even  identified  with  that 
vessel,  which  was  formed  by  the  Diluvian  patriarch ;  which 
carried  its  store  of  com  over  the  grievous  waters,  and,  like 
the  car  of  Ceres,  mounted  aloft  with  its  harnessed  serpents.* 

The  history  and  clifiracter  of  Ceridwen  are  exhibited  in 
a  very  curious  mythological  tale,  called  lianes  Taliesin,  the 
History  of  Taliesin.  It  is  prefixed  to  the  works  of  that 
Bard,  and  has  been  supposed  to  contain  some  romantic 
account  of  his  birth ;  but,  in  reality,  it  has  nothing  to  do 
with  the  history  of  a  private  individTial,  or  with  romance, 
in  the  common  acceptation  of  that  term.  It  is  a  mytholo- 
gical allegory,  upon  the  subject  of  initiation  into  the  mys- 
tical rites  of  Ceridwen.  And  though  the  reader  of  culti- 
vated taste  may  be  offended  at  its  seeming  extravagance,  I 
cannot  but  esteem  it  one  of  the  most  precious  morsels  of 
British  antiquity,  which  is  now  extant. 

Before  I  exhibit  the  tale  itself,  it  may  be  proper  to  ob- 
•  See  the  conclusion  of  Sect.  II.  and  the  poems  there  quoted. 


viate  an  objection  to  the  era  of  the  incidents  which  it 
recites.  Ceridwen  is  represented  as  living  in  the  time  of 
Arthur.  Hence  it  may  be  argued,  that  she  could  neither 
have  been  the  great  mother,  nor  have  belonged  at  all  to  the 
ancient  superstition  of  the  Druids. 

But  the  Arthur  here  introduced,  is  a  traditional  cha- 
racter, totally  distinct  from  the  prince  who  assumed  that 
name  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixth  century. 

He  is  placed,  as  Mr.  Owen  remarks,  high  in  the  mytho- 
logical ages,  and  far  beyond  the  reach  of  authentic,  profane 
history.  The  great  bear  is  his  representative  in  the  heavens, 
and  the  constellation,  Jj^ra,  is  his  harp.  He  is  the  son  of 
Uthyr  Bendragon,  the  wonderful  supreme  leader,  and  Eigyr, 
the  generative  power.  His  adventures,  as  related  in  the 
mythological  tales,  had  evidently,  according  to  my  author, 
a  common  origin  with  those  of  Hercules,  the  Argonauts,  &c. 

Mr.  Owen,  with  some  hesitation,  refers  this  character  to 
the  history  of  Nimrod.*  I  rather  think  that  Arthur  was 
one  of  the  titles  of  the  deified  patriarch  Noah.  And  with 
this  idea,  the  account  which  we  have  of  him  in  the  Bards 
and  the  Triads,  perfectly  accord. 

He  is  represented  as  having  had  three  wives,-  the  daugh- 
ters of  mythological  personages:  each  of  these  wives  had 
the  name  of  Gwenhwyvar,-\  that  is,  the  'lady  of  the  summit 
of  the  water.  These  three  wives  of  Arthur  are  only  so 
many  copies  of  the  same  mystical  character,  the  import  of 
which  may  be  perceived  in  the  construction  of  the  name. 
'■■■    ,  ^  [         ■ 

•  Cam.  Biog.    V.  Arthur. 

t  Gwen-wy-vsr:  the  H  in  this  word  is  merely  fonnative. 


And  as  for  Arthur  himself,  Taliesin's  Spoils  of  the  Deep,^ 
a  poem  which  treats  wholly  of  Diluvian  mytholagy,  repre- 
sents this  prince  as  presiding  ^n  the  ship  which  brought 
himself,  and  seven  friends,  safe  to  land,  when  that  deep 
swallowed  up  the  rest  of  the  human  race.  This  has  no  con- 
nection with  the  history  of  the  sixth  century.  It  relates 
entirely  to  the  deluge ;  and  the  personage  here  commemo- 
rated, was  the  same  as  his  mystical  parent,  XJthyr  Pendra- 
gon,  or  the  deified  patriarch  Noah. 

It  appears  from  Taliesin,  that  Ceridwen  also  was  esteemed 
a  character  of, the  most  remote  antiquity:  for  the.  Bard" 
places  the  origin  of  her  mysteries  very  remote  in  the  pri- 
mitive ages. 

Cyvarchav  i'm  Rhln 
Ystyriaw  Awen 
Py  ddyddwg  Anghen 
Cyn  no  Cheridwen ! 
Cyssevin  ym  Myd 
A  vu  ei  Sywyd. 

"  I  implore  my  sovereign,  to  consider  the  inspiring  muse 
"  (a  title  of  this  goddess) — what  did  necessity  produce, 
"  more  early  than  Ceridwen !  The  primary  order  in  the 
"  world  was  that  of  her  priests." 

These  mystical  characters,  it  must  be  acknowledged,  were 
still  regarded  as  existing  in  the  sixth  century ;  and  so  they 
would  have  been  to  this  day,  had  they  been  still  personified 

*  Appemlfx,  No.  3. 

+  Taliesia's  Mabgyvren,  or  Elementi.     W.  Arcbaiol,  p.  »1. 


in  their  priests,  and  had  the  superstition  which  upheld  them 
continued  to  prevail-* 

To  this  short  defence  of  the  antiquity  of  the  British  mys- 
teries, or  rather  of  the  characters  to  which  they  were  con- 
secrated, I  must  add,  that  I  have  thought  it  convenient  to 
divide  the  story  of  Hanes  Taliesin  into  chapters,  in  order  to 
place  the  long  annotations  which  it  may  require,  as  near  as 
possible  to  the  subject  from  which  they  arise.  I  have  also 
translated  the  names  of  men  and  places :  for  this  I  need 
but  little  apology.  Though  many  of  these  names  occur  in 
history,  yet  in  the  present,  and  in  similar  cases,  they  are 
evidently  selected  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  on  the  alle- 
gory, without  wholly  removing  the  mystic  veil :  their  im- 
port, therefore,  ought  to  be  known  to  the  reader. 


"  In  former  times,  there  was  a  man  of  noble  descent  in 
"  Pejillyn,  the  end  of  the  lake.  His  name  was  Tegid  Voel, 
"  bald  serenity,  and  his  paterna,!  estate  was  in  the  middle  of 
"  the  lake  of  Tegid,  or  Fernhjle  meer. 

"  His  espoused  wife  was  named  Ceridwen.  By  this  wife 
"  he  had  a  son,  named  Morvran  ap  Tegid,  raven  of  the  sea, 
"  the  son  of  serenity,  and  a  daughter  called  Creir^i^w,-f  the 

*  Thus  Ceridwen  still  exists  in  the  middle  of  the  twelfth  century.     See  the 
poems  of  Hywel,  in  the  conclusion  of  this  section. 

"t  In  otheir  passages,  this  name  is  written  Crdrwy,  the  tohen  of  the  egg. 


"  sacred  token  of  life.    She  was  the  most  beautiful  datosel 
"  in  the  world 

"  But  toese  children  had  a  brothery  named  AvagidUf 
"  utter  darkness,  or  black  accumulation,  the  most  hideous 
"  of  beings.  Ceridwen,  the  mother  of  this  deformed  son, 
"  concluded  in  her  mind>  that  he  would  have  but  little 
"  chance  of  being  admitted  into  respectable  company,  un- 
"  less  he  were  endowed  with  some  honourable  accomplish- 
"  ments,  or  sciences;  for  this  was  in  the  first  period  of 
"  Arthur,  and  the  round  table." 

This  opening  of  the  tale  carries  us  at  once  into  mytholo- 
gical ground.  In  the  situation  of  Tegid's  paternal  estate, 
in  the  figure  presented  by  that  personage,  and  in  the  names 
and  characters  of  his  children,  we  have  the  history  of  the 
deluge  presented  to  our  view ;  and  that  history  is  sketched 
upon  British  canvas.       ( 

The  Britons,  as  we  have  seen  in  the  preceding  section, 
represented  the  deluge  as  having  been  occasioned  by  the 
bursting  forth  of  the  waters  of  a  lake.  Hence  they  conse- 
crated certain  lakes,  as  symbols  of  the  deluge ;  whilst  the 
little  islands  which  rose  to  the  surface,  and  were  fabled  to 
have  floated,  or  else  artificial  rafts,  representing  such  float- 
ing islands,  were  viewed  as  emblems  of  the  ark,  and  as 
mystical  sanctijaries.  They  also  regarded  certain  rocks,  or 
mounts,  attached  to  such  lakes,:  as  typifying  the  place  of 
the  patriarch's  debarkation  ;  and  in  the  midst  of  these  hal- 
lowed scenes,  they  celebrated  the  memorials  of  the  deluge 
by  some  periodical  rites.  We  are  therefore  told,  that  the 
paternal  estate  of  Tegid  Voel,  the  husband  of  Ceridwen, 


was  in  the  centf'e  of  Pemble  meer,  the  largest  of  the  Welsh 
lakes.  This  estate  must  have  heen  limited  to  the  space  of 
a  raft,  skip,  or  boat,  which  could  have  floated  in  such  a 
situation ;  or  else  it  must  be  supposed  to  have  suffered  that 
kind  of  submersion,  by  which  our  ancestors  commemorated 
the  destruction  of  the  ancient  world. 

But  the  selection  of  Pemble  meer,  in  this  tale,  is  not 
made  at  random.  That  lake,  and  its  vicinity,  are  deeply 
impressed  with  mythological  memorials  of  the  deluge. 

Camden  favours  us  with  the  description  of  it  by  an  anti- 
quarian poet,  in  which  several  circumstances  exactly  corres- 
pond with  the  British  accounts  of  Llyn  Llion,  their  Dilu- 
vian  lake,  and  justify  the  choice  of  our  mythologists,  in 
making  the  one  a  type  of  the  other. 

*  "  Hispida  qua  tellus  Mervinia  respicit  Euruitt, 
"  Est  Lacus,  antiquo  Penlinum  nomine  dictus. 
"  Hie  Lacus  illimis,  in  valle  Tegeius  altS., 
"  Late  expandit  aquas,  et  vasfum  conficit  orbem, 
"  Excipiens  gremio  latices,  qui,  fonte  perenni, 
"  Vicinis  recidunt  de  montibus,  atque  sonoris 
"  lUecebris  captas,^  demulcent  suaviter  aures. 
"  Illud  habet  cert^  Lacus  admirabile  dictu, 
"  Quantumvis  magna  pluvid  nan  cestuat;  atqui. 

"  Where  Eastern  storms  disturb  the  peaceful  skies, 

"  In  Merioneth  famous  Penlin  lies. 

"  Here  a  vast  lake,  which  deepest  vales  surround, 

•■  His  wat'ry  globe  rolls  on  the  yielding  ground, 

"  Increas'd  with  constant  springs,  that  gently  run 

"  From  the  rough  hills  with  pleasing  murmurs  down : 

"  This  wond'rous  property  the  waters  boast, 

"  The  greatest  rams  are  in  its  channels  Jost, 

"  Nor  raise  the  flood  j  but  when  the  tempests  roar, 

"  The  rising  waves  with  sudden  rage  boil  o'er,  ? 

"  And  Gonqu'ring  billows  scorn  th'  unequal  shore."    ' 


"  Aere  turbato,  si  veutus  munnitra  tollat, 
"  Excrescit  suhito,  rapidis  violentior  undis, 
"  Et  tumido  superat  contemptasftumine  ripas." 

It  is  here  that  the  sacred  Dee  rises,  from  two  fountainSj. 
which  retain  the  "names  of  the  god  and  goddess  of  the  ark — 
here  these  fountains  unite  their  venerated  stream,  which 
they  roll,  tincorrupted,  through  the  midst  of  the  Diluviait 
lake,  till  they  anive  at  the  sacred  mount  of  the  debarkafion. 

And  here  we  find  one  or  two  objects,  which  connect  the 
terms  of  British  mythology  with  those  employed  by  other 

Mr.  Bryant  observes  from  Josephns,  that  the  place  of 
descent  from  the  ark,'  on  Mount  Ararat,  was  called 
Awo£aT)ifio» ;  and  from  Pausanias,  that  the  place  where  Da- 
naus  made  his  first  descent  in  Argolis,  was  called  'AvaZa^jMq. 
And  that  Danaus  (whose  sole  history  is  referred  to  the 
deluge,  and  to  Arkite  superstition)  is  supposed  to  have 
brought'  with  hirh  the  Amphiprumnon,  or  sacred  model  of 
the  ark,  which  he  lodged  in  the  Aciropolis  of  Argos,  called 
Larissa.* " 

Hence  our  mythologist  infers,  that  the  place  where  the 
ark,  or  its  representative,  came  to  land,  was  distinguished 
by  a  name,  which  implied  a  descent^  or  going  forth. 

Agreeably  to  this  idea,  in  the  spot  where  Dwifvawr  and 
Dwyvach,  or  the  incorruptible  Dee,  emerges  safe  from  the 
waters  of  the  lake,  we  find  the  Bala,  or  going  forth.  The 
term  is  applied  to  the  shooting,,  or  coming  forth  of  leaves 

•  Analysis.  V.  II,  p.  a','9. 


and  flowers,  from  the  opening  buds  of  plants ;  and  at  this 
Bala  there  is  a  large  artificial  mount,  called  TomenyBala; 
the  tumulus  of  the  Egress,  which  seems  to  have  been  dedi- 
cated to  the  honour  of  this  sacred  stream. 

In  the  neighbourhood  of  this  tumulus,  rises  the  hill  of 
Aren.  But  Mr.  Bryant  tells  us,  that  Aren  and  Aren?,  are 
names  of  the  ark,  and  that  the  city  Arena  is  literally,  the 
city  of  the  ark.  * 

Our  British  Aren  was  sacred  to  Tydain  Tad  Awen,  Titaii, 
the  father  of  the  inspiring  muse^  or  Apollo,  f  who,  as  we  have 
already  seen,  was  the  Helio-arkite  patriarch. 

The  bards  speak  of  the  sanctuaries  of  their  gods,  and  ca- 
nonized personages,  by  the  name  of  Beddau,  Graves,  or 
Testing  places ;  just  as  the  temples  of  Osiris,  in  Egypt,  were 
legarded  »s  the  sepulchres  of  that  god.  And  it  is  remarkable, 
that  Taliesin  joins  the  Bidd  of  Tidain,  in  the  same  stanza 
with  that  of  Dylan,  whom  I  have  already  proved  to  have 
been  no  other  than  the  Diluvian  patriarch. 

Bed  Tidain,  Tad  Awen 
Yg  godir  Bron  Aren : 
Yn  yd  wna  ton  tolo, 
Bed  Silan  Llan  Beuno.  j: 

•  Analysis,  V-  U.  P-  328.  518. 

t  Thus  we  find  a  temple  of  ApoUo  opon  Mount  Fania|$u9,  \rhere  the  ark 
of  bencalion  rested. 

t  W.  Arohaiel.  p.  79.  ] 


"  T{ie  resting  place  of  Tydain,  the  father  of  ike  inspiidng 
"  muse,  is  in  the  border  of  the  mount  of  Ar en:  >hilst  the 
"  wave  makes  an  oyerwhelming  din,  the  resting  place  of 
"  Dylan  is  in  the  fane  of  Beuno,*  the  ox  of  the  ship." 

Of  Beunaw,  the  ox  of  the  ship,  that  is,  the  arkite  patri- 
arch, venerated  under  the  shape  of  that  animal ;  tlie  Welsh 
Heralds  and  Monks  have  made  a  celebrated  saint  a  descend- 
ant of  Tegid,  and  a  founder  of  several  churches.  If  ever 
there  was  such  a  saint,  he  must  have  borrowed  his  name 
from  the  mythology  of  his  pagan  ancestors. 

That  the  name  of  Aren  has  an  ancient  mythological 
meaning,  and  probably  the  same  which  Mr.  Bryant  assigns 
to  it,  may  be  inferred  from  the  singular  coincidence,  that, 
as  our  Welsh  Aren  had  a  Bedd  of  Tydain  or  Apollo,  so,  on 
the  top  of  the  Arenes,  in  the  borders  of  Britatiy,  there  are 
the  ruins  of  an  old  fabric,  which  is  positively  decided  to 
have  been  a  temple  of  the  same  god.f  From  its  situation, 
in  the  skirt  of  Armorica,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Baiefux,  it  may  be  conjectured  that  this  was  that  Identical 
temple  of  Belen,  or  Apollo,  in  which  AttiUs  Patera  the 
friend  of  Ausonius  had  presided. '  For  that  professor  is 
called  Bagocassis,  and  is  said  to  have  been  Stirpe  satus 
Druidum — Gentis  A^^niorictz.  % 


The  Arenes  of  Britany,  like  that   of  Wales,  may  also 
have  furnished  their  Druids  with  a  local  opportunity  of 

•  JSd,  an  ox,  and  A'aiu,  a  ship. 
^i  See  Voyage  dans  1«  Finistere,  Tom.  I. 
X  Anson.  Prof,  4  and  10.  


fcortimetaorating  the  deluge,  as  they  contain  a  natural  phoe- 
homenon,  which  must  just  have  suited  their  purpose.  We 
are  told,  that  "  a  league  West  from  this  town,  (Falaise) 
"  lies  the  mountain  of  Arenees.  In  the  village  of  Arnes, 
""  belonging  to  this  town,  there  is  a  lake,  fed  by  subterrane- 
"  ous  channels,  which  sometimes  dries  up,  and  is  suddenly 
*' filled  again."* 

But,  to  return  to  the  lake  of  Tegid — we  may  infer  from~ 
these  coincident  circumstances,  that  this  lake  and  its  neigh- 
bourhood were  deeplj'  impressed  with  the  characters  of  arkite 
superstition ;  and  that  our  mythological  narrator  was  fully 
aware  of  this  fact,  when  he  placed  the  paternal  estate  of 
Tegid,  the  husband  of  Ceridwen,  in  the  bosom  of  Pemble 

Let  us,  therefore,  lake  a  brief  view  of  the  proprietor  of 
this  estate. 

Tegid  Vohel,  bald  serenity,  presents  himself  at  once  to 
our  fancy.  The  painter  would  find  no  embarrassment  in 
sketching  the  portrait  of  this  sedate,  venerable  personage, 
whose  crown  is  partly  stripped  of  its  hoary  honours.  But 
of  all  the,  gods  of  antiquity,  none  could  with  propriety,  sit 
for  this  picture,  excepting  Saturn,  the  acknowledged  re- 
presentative of  Noah,  and  the  husband  of  Rhea,  which  was 
but  another  name  for  Ceres,  the  genius  of  the  ark. 

As  consort  of  the  arkite  goddess,  Tegid  was  evidently  the 
deified  patriarch :  it  has,  however,  been  observed,  that  this 
deity  was  a  Pantheos,  comprehending  in  his  own  person, 

o  a  , 

Atlas  Geogtifh.  X4-  mi.  p.  1062. 


most  of  the  superior  gods  of  the  heathens;  here  then,  we 
contemplate  him  in  the  character  of  Saturn^  The  parti- 
culars of  Tegid's  appropriate  history  have  disappeared ;  but 
by  a  little  mythological  deduction,  we  shall  discover  him 
under  another  name. 

Tegid,  as  we  have  already  seen,  was  the  father  of 
Creirwy,  the  token  of.  the  egg,  or  the  British  Proserpine ; 
and  Creirwy  was  the  same  personage  as  Llywy,  the  putting 
forth  of  the  egg,  mentioned  by  Aneurin  and  Taliesin,  in 
conjunction  with  Hu  or  Aeddon. 

This  identity  appears  from  the  poems  bf  Hywel,  son  of 
Owen,  prince  of  North  Wales,  who  styles  Llyxey  his  sister, 
and  that,  in  consequence  of  his  matriculation  into  the  mys- 
teries of  Ceridwen.*  She  could  not  have  become  the  mys- 
tical sister  of  Hy  well  by  this  means,  had  she  not  been  the 
daughter  of  that  goddess. 

The  same  princely  Bard  says,  that  Llywy  had  stolen  his 
soul,  as  she  had  stolen  that  of  Gdney ;  but  the  mistress  o£ 
Garwy  was  Creirwy,  the  daughter  of  Ceridwen. 

Neud  wyv  dihunwyv  hoen  Greirwy — hoyw — deg 
A'm  hudoedd  val  Garwy .-j- 

Am   I  not  deprived  of  spirit !    I  am  enchanted  like 
Garwy,  by  her  who  equals  Creirwy,  sprightly  and  fair." 

Creirwy  and  LlyWy  bfeing  thus  the  same  personage,  it 

*  See  tbe  latter  put  of  the  present  Section, 
t  W.  Arcbaiol.  p.  SIS^ 


fqllows,  that  the  father  of  Creirwy  was  also  the  father  of 
lilywy;  but  the  parent  of  the  latter  is  mentioned  in  the 
Triads,  by  the  name  of  Seithwedd  Saidi.*  .And  here  it 
must  be  remarked  of  the  lady,  that,  notwithstanding  her 
exquisite  beauty  and  delicacy,  she  is  classed  with  two  other 
mythological  personages,  under  the  character  of  Gwr- 
'oorzeyn,  a  man-maid,  which  must  imply  a  virago,  at  least, 
if  not  something  still  less  attractive. 

From  these  premises  it  is  clear,  that  Seithwedd  Saidi  was 
a  name  of  Tegid,  the  father  of  this  mystical  lady ;  and  this 
name,  as  well  as  Tegid,  must  be  referred  to  the  character 
of  Saturn. 

We  shall  now  have  an  opportunity  of  investigating  hi§ 
mythology.  Seithwedd  is  an  epithet,  implying  either  sep- 
tiform,  or  else,  having  seven  courses.  This.may  allude  to  the 
multitude  of  his  names  and  functions,  or  to  the  annual  feasts 
of  Saturn,  which  were  continued  for  the  space  of  seven 
days.  If  Saidi  be  a  British  term,  it  must  be  derived  from 
Sdd,  firm,  or  just.  From  this  word,  and  Wtti,  a  covered 
vessel,  Mr.  Owen  deduces  the  Welsh  name  of  Saturn ;  so 
that  Sad-wrn  is  xhejust  man  of  the  vessel.  This  description 
is  not  inapplicable  to  the  patriarch  Noah,  and  to  his 
history,  the  character  of  Saturn  is  referred  by  mythologists 
in  general,  and  particularly  by  Mr.  Bryant,  who  takes  no- 
tice, that  Dagon,  a  representative  lof  the  sMne  patriarch, 
was  called  Said-on,-f  which  comes  near  to  our  Shidi,.  I 

Seithwedd,  or  as  he  is  sometimes  called  Setihin  Saidii  '"■>■ 

•  W.  Archaiol.  V.  11.  p.  15.  n. 
t  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  300. 


is  represented  as  king  of  Dyved,  Demetia ;  but  this  leads  us 
again  into  the  regions  of  mythology. 

Dyved  was  the  patrimony  of  Pwyll,  reason  or  patience, 
who  embarked  in  the  vale  of  Cwch,  the  boat,  for  Anntipn, 
the  great  deep,-  which  he  governed  for  the  space  of  a  com- 
plete year,  whilst  4rawn,  jnN  the  Arkite,  styled  alsp 
Pendaran,  lord  of  the  thunder,  superintended  his  paternal 
dominions.  '  Upon  a  future  occasion  I  shall  produce  more 
of  this  tale.  In  the  mean  tinie,  I  may  be  allowed  to  sug- 
gest, that  from  the  specimen  here  exhibited,  Mr.  Bryant 
would  have  pronounced  it  genuine  arkite  mythology. 

The  district  of  Dyved  was  so  entirely  devoted  to  the 
mysteries  of  Druidism,  that  it  was  said  to  have  been  anci^ 
ently  enveloped  in  Llengil,  a  concealing  veil:  and  it  was  by 
way  of  eminence;^  denominated  Grpldd  Yr  Hud,  the  land, 
of  mystery. 

There  is  a  story  recorded  in  the  triads,  of  Seithetiin,  the 
son  of  Seithwedd  Saidi,  which  states,  that  upon  a  certain- 
time,  this  prince  was  intoxicated,  and  that  in  his  liquor, 
he  let  in  the  sen  over  the  country,  so  as  to  overwhelm  a  large 
and  ■populace  district.  This  tale,  which  I  must  consider  here- 
after, is  of  the  same  origin  with  those  local  relations  of  the 
submersion  of  cities  in  the  lakes  of  Britaii^,  which  I  h^ve 
remarked  in  the  preceding  section. 

,  But  Seithenin  is  nothing  more  than  Septimianus,  a  titje 
which  the  Romans  conferred  upon  Saturn  :  so  that  Seitbe-, 
nin,  and  his  mythological  father,  Seithwedd,  are  in  reality, 
^he  s^arae  character. 


I  jSiid  a  son  of  this  Saidi  under  another  name,  which, 
together  with  his  lank  and  connexions,  is  very  remarkable. 
He  is  acknowledged  as'  one  of  three  sovereigns  in  the  court 
of,  the  mythological  Arthur,  that  is,  Noah,  by  the  title  of 
Cadeiriaith,  the  language  of  the  chair,  the  son  of  Saidi ;  and 
Cadraith,  the  law  of  the  inclosureythe  son  oi  Perthawr  Godo, 
the  doorkeeper  of  ihe  partial  covering,  that  is,  the  ark,  or. 
its  representative.  * 

This  doorkeeper  w^as  therefore,  the  same  person  with 
Saidi,  and  with  Tegid,  the  husband  of  Ceridw^n ;  and  his 
name,  and  the  office  imphed  by  that  name,  must  be  referred 
to  Janus,  the  deify  of  the  door  or  gate,  whose  character  has 
been  identified  with  that  of  Saturn. 

Cadeiriaith,  the  son  of  Saidi,  holds  his  dignity  in  con- 
junction Avith  Gor-on-Wi/,  great. lord  of  the  water,  the  son 
of  Echel,  with  the  pierced  thigh ;  and  with  a  third  character, 
named  Fleid^r  Flam,  the  incloser  of  fame,  son.  of  Gqdo, 
the  arJcite  cell. 

As  one  of  three  amiable  knights,  in  the  court  of  the  same 
Arthur,  this  personage  is  recognized  under  the  name  of 
Cadair,  the  chair  or  presidency,  and  as  the  son  of  Seithin- 
Saidi ;  he  is  here  classed  with  Gwalchmai,  the  hawk  of 
May,  the  son  of  Gwyar,  clotted  gore;  and  with  Garwy,  wa- 
ter's edge,  son  of  Geraint,  the  -vessel,  son  of  Erbyn,  the  lofty 

This  €axiair,  or  presidency,  of  Saturn,  was  also  named 

•  See  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  4  and  26. 
t  Ibid.  p.  19  and  74. 


Cibddar,  the  Mystic,  and .  he  had  a  son  styled  Elmiir,  the 
fixed  or  established  spirit,  ranked  as  one  of  the  sovereign 
Bulls.*  Here  we  come  round  to  the  history  of  Hu,  the 
Tauriform,  Helio-arkite  god,  and  his  sacred  animals.  The 
royal  bnll  before  us,  as  I  have  already  observed,  is  con- 
nected with  Cynhaiial prototype,  the  son  of  Argat,  the  ark; 
and  with  Av'ion,  the  cardinal  point,  in  the  Ecliptic,  son  of 
Taliesin,  radiant  front,  which  is  a  title  of  the  solar  deity, 
and  hence,  assumed  by  his  ^priest  and  representative  in  the 

This  little  excursion  in  mythological  ground,  exhibits  the 
various  avenues,  as  pointing  to  one  prominent  object. 
The  scattered  notices  in  the  mythological  Triads,  are  so 
many  parts  of  one  connected  system,  and  the  mystical  pe- 
digrees are  only  intended  to  shew  the  relation  of  those  parts 
amongst  themselves.  This  is  only  the  same  story  told  in 
the  British  language,  which  Mr.  Bryant  and  Mr.  Faber 
analyzed  in  the  Greek,  and  resolved  entirely  into  the  my- 
thology of  the  Diluvian  age,  mixed  with  Sabian  idolatry. 

We  find  then,  that  Tegid,  the  husband  of  Ceridwen, 
Seithwedd  Saidi,  and  the  doorkeeper  of  Godo,  were  one  and 
the  same  personage,  in  whom  we  may  have  the  features  of 
the  Saturn,  or  Janus,  of  classical  antiquity. 

But  what  our  Dittids  intended,  by  their  personification 
of  the  language  of  the  chair,  or  law  of  the  inclosureof  Satvimi 
and  by  elevating  this  character  to  the  dignity  of  a  sovereign, 
it  is  difficult  to  say,  unless  by  this  figure,  they  meant  to  en- 
force the  authority  of  their  Bardd  Cadair,.  presiding  Bard 

•  W,  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  4,  13,  and  69. 


or  Druidf  and  to  intimate  that,  he  taught  and  governed  by 
the  maxims  and  laws  of  the  Diluvian  patriarch. 

Such  may  have  been  their  meaning ;  for  to  this  august 
personage,  the  character  of  Saturn,  or  Janus,  is  pointedly 
referred,  by  our  great  mytholpgist,  Mr.  Bryant ;  who  ob- 
serves, that  amongst  all  the  various  representations  of  the 
patriarch,  there  are  none,  wherein  his  history  is  delineated 
more  plainly,  than  in  those  of  Saturn  and.  Janus,  the  latter 
of  whom  carried  about  him  many  emblenis  to  denote  his 
different  departments.  There  was  particularly,  a  staff  in 
one  hand,  with  which  he  pointed  to  a  rock,  from'  whence 
issued  a  profusion  of  water ;  in  the  other  hand,  he  held  a 
key.  He  had  generally  near  him,  some  resemblance  of  a 
ship>  and  like  our  Tegid,  he  had  the  title  of  ©t-faio?,  or  the 
deity  of  the  door  or  passage.  * 

Mr.  Bryant  alsd  remarks,  that  though  the  Romans  made 
a  distinction  between  Janus  and  Saturn,  they  were  only  two 
titles  of  the  same  person ;  hence  many  of  their  emblems 
were  the  same.  Saturn,  like  Janus,  had  keys  in  his  hand, 
and  his  coins  had  the  figure  of  a  ship.  He  had  the  name 
of  Septimianus ;  and  the  Saturnalia,  which  were  days  set 
apart  for  his  rites  in  December,  were  in  number  seven. 
These  rites  are  said  to  have  been  of  great  antiquity,  far 
prior  to  the  foundation  of  Rome,  f 

As  our  British  Saturn  was  named  Saidi,  so  his  mystical 
spouse  seems  to  have  had  a  title  of  nearly  the  same  sound  ; 
for  her  chair  or  sanctuary  was  called  Caer  Sidi,  the  sanc- 

•  See  Analys!  V.  II.  p.  253,  &«.• 
+  Ibid.  p.  260. 


iicary  of  Sidi;  but  according  to  Mr.  Bryant,  XiJij,    Sidee,' 
\vas  a  legitimate  title  of  Ceres.* 

The  consideration  of  this  subject  I  must  defer  for  the 
present,  and  go  on  to  examine,  whether  the  children  of 
Tegid  and  Ceridwen  have  any  similar  relation  to  the'  history: 
of  the  deluge. 

Their  first  born  was  named  Monran,  r alien  of  the  sea. 
Of  this  personage,  a  few  particulars  are  recorded.  He  was 
dark  and  hideous  in  his  person ;  he  was  Ysgymmydd  Aerau, 
addicted  to  contention;  and  he  escaped  from  the  army  of  the 
mythological  Arthur,  or  the  deified  patriarch. 

From  these  hints  I  conjecture,  that  the  character  of 
Morvran  represents  the  raven  which  Noah  sent  forth.  This, 
was  the  first  animal  that  proceeded  from  the  ark :  hence^ 
mythology  might  regard  him  as  her  first-born  son.  And  the 
short  account  which  we  have  of  him,  is  perfectly  consistent 
with  what  Mr.  Bryant  has  collected  from  the  ancient  my- 
thology of  other  nations,  upon  the  subject  of  Naah'^ 

It  is  repiarked,  that  Noah  sent  the  raven  out  of  the  ark,  by* 
way  of  experiment ;  but  that  it  disappointed  him  and  never 
returned — hence  a  tradition  is  mentioned,  that  the  raven  was, 
once  sent  out  upon  a  message  by  Apollo,  but  deserted 
him,  and  did  not  return  when  he  was  expected., i*  ,   > 

But  this  faithless  messenger  was  for  the  most  part,  es- 

•  See  Analys.  V.  11.  p.  380. 
t  Ibid.  286, 


t€em€d  a  bud  of  ill  omen.  His  very  croaking  would  put  a 
stop  to  the  process  of  matrimony.  But  like  Morvran,  he 
was  also  personified  by  a  human  character.  The  mytholo- 
gists,  observes  Mr.  Bryant,  out  of  every  circumstance  and 
title,  formed  a  personage.  Hence  Pausanias  speaks  of  the 
raven,  as  an  ancient  hero,  and  mentions  his  family.* 

Morvran  may  then  be  regarded  as  the  representative  of 
Noah's  raven ;  but  what  are  we  to  understand  by  the  forlorn 
condition  of  Avagddu,  utter  darkness,  or  black  accumulation, 
whose  misfortune  was  the  grief  of  his  mother;  and  who 
could  not  be  relieved,  as  we  learn  from  the  sequel  of  the 
tale,  till  the  renovating  cauldron  of  the  deluge  had  boiled 
for  a  year  and  a  day.  And  what  are  we  to  think  of  his 
subsequent  illuminated  state,  when  he  became  the  pride  of 
Ceridwen,  and  if  I  mistake  not,  married  the  rainbow  ?f 

Avagddu  is  made  a  son  of  Tegid ;  but  as  mythological  ge- 
nealogy is  mere  allegory,  and  the  father  and  son  are  fre- 
quently the  same  person  under  different  points  of  view; 
this  character,  in  his  abject  state,  may  be  referred  to  the 
patriarch  himself,  during  his  confinement  in  the  internal 
gloom  of  the  ark,  where  he  was  surrounded  with  utter  dark- 
ness, a  circumstance  which  was  commemorated  in  all  the 
mysteries  of  the  gentile  world.  If  this  be  granted,  then  the 
son  of  Ceridwen,  or  the  ark  in  his  renovated  state,  is  the 
same  patriarch,  born  anew  to  light  ^d  life,  at  the  close  of 
the  deluge. 

»  See  Analys.  V.  11.  p.  399.    , 

')'  For  these  particulars,  see  the  sequel  of  Hanet  iTaliain,  and  that  re- 
^ailtable  poem  called  the  Cb^ir  of  CeridweD,  whi(;b  I  shall  produce  ia  the 
poi|rse  of  this  S^ctipq. 


And  as  our  complex  mythology  identified  the  character  of 
the  patrianch,  with  that  of  the  sun ;  so  Avagddu  may  also 
have  been  viewed  as  a  type  of  that  luminary,  in  his  veil  of 
darkness  and  gloom,  during  the  melancholy  period  of  the 
delu"-e.  This  gloom  was  afterwards  changed  into  ligJit  and 
cheerfulness;  and  thus  the  son  of  Ceridwen  may  he  recog- 
nized, in  his  illuminated  state,  under  the  titles  of  Elphin 
and  Rhuvawn  Be'oyr,  which  implies  bursting  forth  with  ra- 
diancy, and  seems  to  he  an  epithet  of  the  Helio-arkite  god. 

The  chair  of  Ceridwen  represents  Gwydion,  or  Hermes, 
in  the  act  of  forming  the  Iris,  as  a  consort  for  the  reno- 
vated sun;  and  the  allegory  is  as  just  as  it  is  beautiful :  for 
what  was  the  secondary  cause  of  this  sacred  token,  but  the 
rays  of  the  sun  just  bursting  forth  from  the  gloom,  and 
mixing  with  the  humid  air  ? 

Avagddu,  thus  considered  as  a  type  of  the  Helio-arkite 
god  in  his  afflicted  and  renovated  state,  has  a  striking  co- 
■  incidence  of  character  with  Eros,  the  blind  god  of  the 
Greeks,  who  was  a  distinguished  agent  in  the  Arkite  mys- 
teries, whose  name,  in  the  course  of  those  mysteries,  was 
changed  into  Phanes,*  a  title  of  the  sun,  not  dissimilar  to 
our  El-phin;  and  whose  symbol  was  the  bow,  which,  a& 
well  as  the  bow  of  Apollo,  alluded  to  the  Iris,  f 

I  am  not  sure,  however,  that  the  character  of  Avagddu 
had  not  a  secondary  aUusibn,  in  his  forlorn  state,  to  the 
uninitiated,  and  in  his  renovation,  to  the  adept  in  the  mys- 
teries of  Druidism :  as  the  former  was  regarded  as  living  in 

•  Brjant's  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  331. 
+  Ibid.  p.  343. 


darkness,  whereas  the  latter  was  illuminated  and  endowed 
with  all  knowledge. 

Creirwy,  the  token,  or  sacred  symbol  of  the  egg,  otherwise 
called  Uywy,  the  manifestation,  or  putting  forth  of  the  egg, 
is  not  the  least  remarkable  of  Ceridwen's  children. 

As  it  will  appear  presently,  that  the  mother  is  described 
as  a  hen,  or  female  bird  of  some  species,  there  seems  to  be 
an  analogous  propriety  in  the  names  of  the  daughter,  who, 
though  a  Gwrvorwyn,  or  virago,  was  esteemed  a  paragon 
of  beauty :  and,  as  such,  she  is  classed  with  Arianrod  merch 
Don,  the  lady  of  the  silver  wheel,  the  daughter  of  Jove; 
whom  Ceridwen  represents  as  conducting  the  rainbozo,  df 
which  she  was,  therefore,  the  appropriate  genius;  and  with 
Gwen,  Venus,  the  daughter  of  Cy-wryd,  Crydon,  the  man^ 
hood  of  Crodon,  or  Saturn.* 

Creiwy,  as  daughter,  of  Ceridwen,  or  Ceres,  was  the 
Proserpine  of  the  British  Druids.  The  attributes  of  the 
mother  and  daughter,  in  the  Bardic  mythology,  as  well  as 
in  that  of  other  heathens,  are  so  much  confounded  together, 
as  not  to  be  easily  distinguished.  Mr.  Bryant  pronounces 
them  to  have  been  the  same  mystical  personage.f 

All  the  difference  which  I  can  perceive  in  their  character, 
is  this.  Ceridwen  was  the  genius  of  the  ark  throughout 
its  whole  history ;  hence  she  was  viewed  as  a  sevefe  matron, 

•  Bryant's  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  260. 

The  author  observes  from  Schediui,  de  Diis  Germ,  that  Saturn  had  the  name 
of  CfoAo.  The  parentage  of  the  British  Venus  seems  to  hare  corresponded 
with  that  of  the  Greek. 

t  Ibid.  p.  ^1. 


supposed  to  preside  in  those  public  sanctuaries,  where  tbtf 
Arkite  rites  were  celebrated:  whilst  Creirwy,  on  the  ofeef 
hand,  was  regarded  as  the  genius  of  the  same  sacred  vessd, 
only  during  its  perilous  conflict  with  the  waters  of  the 
deluge ;  and  therefore  represented  as  a  helpless  virgin,  ex- 
posed to  dreadful  calamities,  from  which  she  was  at  length 
delivered.  She  did  not  preside  in  the  Arkite  temples', 
though  she  was  occasionally  associated  with  her  mother; 
but  the  private  and  portable  tokens  delivered  to  the  initiated, 
and  the  wand  or  branch,  which  was  a  badge  of  the  Bardic 
office,  were  regarded  as  her  gift. 

This  mystical  lady  is  also  called  Creirddylad,  the  token  of 
the  flowing  or  floating,-^  and  described  as  the  daughter  of 
Uudd  Llaw  Eraint,  the  chief  who  governed  the  vessel,  or  of 
Uyr,  the  margin  of  the  sea :  and  here  she  is  an  old  ac- 
quaintance of  the  English  nation,  being  no  less  a  personage 
than  Cordelia,  the  daughter  of  King  Lear. 

•  In  an  old  poem,  in  which  Gwyn  ah  Nuid,  King  oT 
Annwn,  is  introducedjas  a  speaker,  this  potentate  describes- 
himself  as — 

Gordderch  Creirddylad  merch  Lludd,* 

"  The  paramour  of  Creirddylad,  the  daughter  of  Lludd." 

Here  we  have  a  hint  of  a  British  tradition  upon  the  sub-- 
ject  of  the  rape  of  Proserpine.  Gzcyn  ab  Nudd  was  the 
Pluto  of  the  Britons.  Annwn,  the  kingdom  of  that  god, 
in  its  popular  acceptation,  is  liell,  or  the  infernal  regions  j 
but  in  the  mystical  poems  and  tales,  Aimwn  seems  to  be  no 

" --  ■      I      .,  ■    ■■         .1  ■■■»-.  ■  I         ..    -  ■■■!     ^11  I    Ml  P    11  I     ■    IM^-    !■■       ■ 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  166. 


other;  than  that  deep  or  a^T/ss,  the  waters  of  which  burst 
forth  at  the  deluge,  Gwyn,  the  King  o£  Annwn,  was  there- 
fore the  genius  of  the  deluge;  and  the  fable  means  nothing 
more,  than  that  the  ark  was  forcible/  carried  away  by  the 

But  the  more  general  name  of  the  daughter  of  Ceridwen 
was  Creirwy,  the  token  or  symbol  of  the  egg ;  and  under  this 
symbol,  the  ark  was  represented  in  the  general  mythology 
of  the  heathens. 

'  This  assertion  it  may  be  necessary  to  support  by  the  au- 
thority of  Mr,  Bryant,  whp  observes,  that  in  many  hiero- 
glyphical  descriptions,  the  dove,  Oinas,  was  represented  as 
hovering  over  the  mundane  egg,  which  was  exposed  to  the 
fury  of  Typhon,  or  the  deluge;  and  that  this  egg  was, 
doubtless,  an  emblem  of  the  ark,  whence  proceeded  that 
benign  person,  the  preacher  of  righteousness,  who  brought 
mankind  to  a  more  mild  kind  of  life.  Having  quoted,  from 
liucius  Anjipelius,  a  passage  to  this  efFect-rr-Dicitur  et  Eu- 
phratis  fiuvio,  Ovum  piscis  columbam  assedisse  dies  pluri- 
mos,  et  exclusisse  Deam  benignam,  et  misericordem  homi- 
jiibus,  ad  vitam  bonam ;  he  thus  accounts  for  the  topogra- 
phy of  the  fable.  The  ark  rested  upon  mount  Bans,  in 
Armenia,  the  Ararat  of  Moses ;  and  in  this  country  are  the 
fountains  of  the  Euphrates. 

An  egg,  adds  our  author,  as  it  contained  the  elements  of 
life,  was  thought  no  improper  emblem  of  the  ark,  in  which 
were  preserved  the  rudiments  of  the  future  world.  Hence 
in  the  Dionusiaca,  and  in  other  mysteries,  one  part  of  the 
nocturnal  ceremony  consisted  in  the  consecration  of  an  egg. 
By  this,  we  Are  informed  by  Porphyry,  was  signified  the 
world.    This  zeorld,  says  Mr.  Bryant,  was  Noah  and  his 


family,  even  all  mankind,  inclosed  and  preserved  in  the 
ark.  This  seems  to  have  been  a  favourite  symbol,  very 
ancient,  and  adopted  among  many  nations.  The  Persians 
said  of  Oromasdes,  that  he  formed  mankind,  and  inclosed 
them  in  an  egg.  The  Syrians  used  to  speak  of  their  ances- 
tors, the  gods,  as  the  progeny  of  eggs.* 

The  same  learned  writer  remarks,  that  in  the  the  temple 
of  the  Dioscouri,  in  Laconia,  there  was  suspended  a  large 
hieroglyphical  egg,  which  was  sometimes  attributed  to 
Leda,  and  sometimes  to  Nemesis,  the  deity  of  justice.  It 
was  sometimes  described  as  surrounded  by  a  serpent,  either 
as  an  emblem  of  that  providence,  by  which  mankind  was 
preserved,  or  else  to  signify  a  renewar  of  life,  from  a  state 
of  death ;  as  the  serpent,  by  casting  his  skin,  seems  to  renew 
his  life.  By  the  bursting  of  the  egg,  was  denoted  the 
opening  of  the  ark,  and  the  disclosing  to  light  whatever  was 
within  contained.-f- 

From  the  contemplation  of  this  symbol  of  foreign  super- 
stition, we  naturally  turn  to  the  celebrated  Ovum  jingui- 
num,  or  serpent's  egg,  of  the  Celtic  priesthood,  as  described 
by  Pliny. 

This  was,  by  way  of  eminence,  regarded  as  Insigne  Dru- 
idis,  the  Insigne,  or  distinguishing  mark  of  a  Druid.  Hav- 
ing already  seen  so  much  of  the  Arkite  superstition  amongst 
this  order  of  men,  we  may  easily  conceive,  that  this  sacred 
egg  had  a  referaice  to  the  same  subject,  and  that,  like 
the  mundane  egg  of  other  pagans,  it  was,  in  some  sense, 
an  emblem  of  the  ark.     We  are  told  by  Pliny,  Experimen- 

•  Bryant's  Analysis.  V.  II.  p.  319,  &c. 
+  Ibid,  p.  360. 


lum  ejus  esse,  si  contra  aquasjluitet,  vel  auro  vindurti — That 
the  test  of  its  genuineness,  was  its,  floating  against  the 
water,  even  with  its  setting  of  gold.  I  suppose  the  author 
means,  that  it  would  keep  upon  the  surface,  when  drawn 
Cgdinst  the  stream;  and  that,  in  this  passage,  he  gives  us  a 
hint  of  its  mystical  import  and  character,  as  an  eiivblem  of 
in  floating  tesseL 

It  must  also  be  procured,  we  are  told>  Certd  Lundf  at  a 
certain  time  of  the  moon.  This  information  exhibits  the 
connexion  of  mythological  ideas  j  for  the  moon  was  a  sym- 
bol of  Ceridwen,  and  of  the  arkt 

The  efficacy  of  the  Anguinum,  ad  victorias  litium,  et 
JRegum  aditvs,  may  easily  be  conceived.  The  Druids,  who 
were  the  supreme  judges  in  all  litigated  causes,  may  be  sup- 
posed to  have  lent  a  favourable  ear  to  those  who  produced 
this  credential  of  their  order;  and  even  kings,  who  stood 
in  awe  of  their  tribunal,  would  seldom  close  their  gates 
against  them> 

The  natural  historian  recites,  at  large  the  fabulous  story 
of  the  production  of  this  trinket — Angiies  innumeri,  testate, 
convoluti,  &c. 

The  same  mummery  is  repeated  by  the  ancient  Bards. — 
"  Lively  was  the  aspect  of  him  who,  in  his  prowess,  had 
"  snatched  over  the  ford  that  involved  ball,  which  casts  its 
"  rays  to  a  distance,  the  splendid  product  of  the  adder,  shot 
"  forth  bi/ serpents."  * 

*  Appendix,  No.  14. 


But  this  was  iftei'ely  so  much  dust  thrown  into  the  eyes  of 
the  profane  multitude. 

The  Druids  themselves  are  called  Nadredd,  adders^  by  the 
Welsh  Bards.  This  title  they  owed,  I  suppose)  to  their 
regenerative  system  of  transmigration.  The  sei-pent,  which 
annually  casts  his  skin,  and  seems  to  return  to  a  second 
youth,  may  have  been  regarded  by  them,  as  well  as  by  other 
heathens,  as  a  symbol  of  renovation :  and  the  renovation  of 
mankind  was  the  great  doctrine  set  forth  by  the  Arkite  mas- 
teries, and  by  the  symbolical  egg. 

The  Druids,  therefore,  were  the  serpents  which  assem- 
bled, at  a  stated  time  in  the  summer,  to  prepare  these  em- 
blems of  Creirwy,  and  to  conceal  within  themi  certain  dis- 
criminative tokais,  which  probably  were  kept  as  a  profound 
secret  from  the  persons  who  received  them. 

Pliny  saw  one  of  these  eggs,  but  he  had  not  the  curiosity 
to  examine  it  any  farther  than  its  cartilaginous- integument ; 
otherwise  he  would  probably  have  discovered,  that  it  con- 
tained either  a  lunette  of  glass,  or  small  ring  of  thte  same 
material ;  such  as  those  which  the  Welsh  call  Gleiniau  Na-. 
dredd.  These  were  certainly  insignia  of  a  very  sacred  cha- 
racter amongst  our  ancestors ;  and  they  seem  to  have  been 
intimately  connected  with  the  Anguinum :  for  the  annotator 
upon  Camden  remarks,  that  in  most  parts  of  Wales,  all 
over  Scotland,  and  in  Cornwall,  the  vulgar  still  retain  the 
same  superstitious  notions  respecting  the  origin  and  virtues 
of  the  former,  which  Pliny  records  of  the  latter.*  And 
the  Glain  was  viewed  as  an  emblem  of  renovation :  hence 

*  Gibson's  Camden  Col.  815.— See  aUo  Owen's  Diet.    V.  Glam, 


MeHyr  calls  Bardsey-^"  The  holy  islarid  of  the  Glain,  in 
'"  ■which  there  is  a  fair  representation  of  a  resurrection."* 

That  these  Glains  were  artificial,  can  hardly  admit  of  a 
;doubt ;  though  some  have  hastily  confounded  them  with 
certain  productions  of  nature.  We  find  some  of  them  blue, 
some  white,  a  third  sort  green,  and  a  fourth  regularly  varie- 
gated with  all  these  sorts  of  colours  ^  but  still  preserving 
the  appearance  of  glass :  whilst  others  again  were  composed 
of  earth,  and  only  glazed  over.-t- 

It  seems  most  likely,  that  the '  secret  of  manufacturing 
these  Glains  was  totally  unknown  in  Britain,  excepting  to 
the  Druids :%  and  it  may  be  collected  from  some  passages, 
'that  these  ptiests  Carried  about  them  certain  trinkets  of  vi- 
trified matter,  and  that  this  custom  had  a  view  to  their 
Arkite  mystei^ies. 

Thus,  in  the  poem  called  the  chair  of  Taliesin,  we  find  the 
stranger  admitted  to  the  ceremonies  of  lunar  worship,  upon 
his  exhibiting  the  Czerwg  Gwydryn,  or  boat  of  glass,  a  sym- 
bol which  certainly  commemorated  the  sacred  vessel,  and 
probably  displayed  the  figure  of  a  small  lunette  ;  as  the  ark 
vras  sometinles  described  under  that  figure,  and  called  Selene, 
the  moon.%'  - 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  193. 

t  See  Camden,  as  cited  before. 

t  "  With  similar  reverence  the  Samothracians,  whose  devotion  to  the  Cabirie 
"  rites  is  well  known,  regarded  their  magical  rings.  These  were  of  tlie  nature 
•<  of  amulets,  and  were  believed  to  have  a  power  of  averting  danger." 

Faber's  Mjst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  213. 

§  Bryant's  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  653. 


I  suppose  that  it  was  from  the  material,  of  which  this 
symbol  was  composed,  that  even  the  vessel,  in  which  the 
patriarch  and  his  family  were  preserved,  was  denominated 
Caer  Wydyr,  the  inclosure,  or  circle  of  glass.*  And  Merd- 
din  Emrys,  and  his  nine  Bards,  are  represented  as  having 
put  to  sea  in  the  Ty  Gwydrinfy  or  home  of  glass ;  which 
could  have  been  no  other  than  a  ship  or  vessel  consecrated 
to  Bardic  mysteries. 

The  portable  trinket  which  I  have  mentioned,  whatever 
its  form  may  have  been,  was  the  Crair,  or  Insignk  of  the 
Druids ;  and  when  made  or  dressed  up  in  the  figure  of  an 
egg,  it  became  Creir-wy,  the'Insign^  or  token  of  the  egg, 
the  sacred  emblem  of  the  British  Proserpine.  From  the 
pre-eminent  estimation  in  which  this  emblem  was  held, 
both  in  Gaul  and  in  our  own  island,  we  may  draw  a  reason- 
able inference,  that  the  Arkite  mysteries  were  the  most  sa- 
cred arcana  of  the  Celtic  priesthood. 

In  the  short  chapter  which  gave  rise  to  these  remarks, 
our  mythological  narrator  appears,  with  a  master's  hand, 
to  have  directed  our  attention  to  the  history  of  the  deluge, 
and  to  the  local  notions  of  the  Britons  relative  to  that 
event.  We  shall  now  observe  his  dexterity  in  delineating 
the  character  and  operations  of  Ceridwen  herself. 

*  Appendix^  No.  3. 

t  W.  Arshaiol.  V.  li.  p.  S9. 



"  Then  she  (CeridWen)  determined,  agreeably  to  the  mys- 
**  tery  of  the  books  of  Pheryllt,  to  prepare  for  her  son  a 
"  cauldron  of  Awena  Gwyhodeu,  water  of  inspiration  and 
"  sciences,  that  he  might  be  more  readily  admitted  iiito 
"  honourable  society,  upon  account  of  his  knowledge,  and 
"  his  skill  in  regard  to  futurity. 

"  The  cauldron  began  to  boil,  and  it  was  requisite  thfet 
"  the  boiling  should  be  continued,  without  interruption, 
^*  for  the  period  of  a  year  and  a  day ;  and  till  three  blessed 
"  drops  of  the  endowment  of  the  spirit  could  be  obtained. 

"  She  had  stationed  Gwion  the  Little,  the  son  of  Gwreang 
*'  the  Herald,  of  Llanvair,  the  fane  of  the  lady,  in  Caer 
"  Einiawn,  the  city  of  the  just,  in  Poajiys,  the  land  of  rest, 
"  to  superintend  the  prepara,tion  of  the  cauldron :  and  she 
"  had  appointed  a  blind  man,  fivrm,  named  Morda,  ruler  of 
"  the  sea,  to  kindle  the  fire  under  the  cauldron,  with  a 
"  strict  injunction  that  he  should  not  suffer  the  boiling  to 
"  be  interrupted,  before  the  completion  of  the  year  and  the 
"  day, 

"  In  the  mean  time  Ceridwen,  with  due  attention  to  the 
"  books  of  astronomy,  and  to  the  hours  of  the  planets,  em- 
"  ployed  herself  daily  in  botanizing,  and  in  coUecting  plants 
"  of  every  species,  which  possessed  any  rare  virtiies. 

"  On  a  certain  day,  about  the  hompTetion  of  the  year, 
**  whilst  she  was  thus  botanizing  arid  muttering  to  herself^ 


"  three  drops  of  the  efficacious  water  happened  to  fly  out  of 
"  the  cauldron,  and  alight  upon  the  finger  of  Gwion  the 
*'  Little.  The  hep,t  of  the  water  occasioned  his  putting  his 
"  finger  into  his  mouth. 

".  As  soon  as  these  precious  drops  had  touched  his  lips, 
"  every  eveijt  of  futurity  was  opened  to  his  view :  and  he 
"  clearly. perceived,  that  his  greatest  concern  was  to  beware 
"of  the  stratagems  of  Ceridwen,  whose  knowledge  Was 
"  very  great,  With  extreme  terror  he  fled  towards  his  na- 
"  tive  couwtry. 

."  As  for  the  cauldron,  it  divided  into  two  halves;  for  the 
"  whole  of  the  water  which  it  contained,  excepting  the 
"  three  efficacious  drops,- was  .poisonous;  so  that  it  poisoned 
"  the  horses  of  Gwyddno  Garanhir,  which  drank  out  of  the 
"  channel  into  which  the  cauldron  had  emptied  itself. 
"  Hence  that  channel  was  aftenvards  called.  The  poison  of 
"  Gwyddno's  horses." 

l^he  most  renxarkable  subject  brought  forward  in  this 
ch£|,pter,  is  the  preparation  of  the  cauldron  of  inspiration, 
and  science ;  but  before  I  consider  the  import  of  this  mys- 
tical vase,  I  must  make  a  few  short  remarks. 

Ceridwen  enrploys  a  minister,  who  is  described  as  the  son 
of  a  herald,  and  it.  may  be  implied  that  he  himself  held 
that  office.  It  is  observed  by  antiquaries,  that  of  four 
priests  who  officiated  in  the  celebration  of  the  mysteries  of 
Ceres,  one  was  distinguished  by  the  title  of  Keryx  the 
Herald,    Another  was  named  Hydranus,  from  Wwj,  water : 


atid'his  tkle,  though  perhaps  not  his  functioin,  correspauded, 
with  that  of  Morda  in  the  present  tale.      / 

•  The  keeping  up  of  a  continual  fire,  for  the  period  of  a 
year  and  a  day,,  in  a  ceremony  which  was  repeated  annually, 
amounts  to  the  same  thing  as  maintaining  a  perpetual  fire. 
And  this  was  a  solemn  rite  iji  the  temples  of  Ceres. 

Ceridwen,  like  Ceres  and  I  sis,  appears  to  have  been  a 
great  botanist,  and  well  skilled  in  the  virtues  of  plants. 
The  Pheryllt,  according  to  whose  ritual  she  proceeds  in  her 
selection,  are  often  mentioned  by  the  Bards,  as  well  as  by 
the  prose  writers  of  Wales.  The  poet  Virgil,  whose  sixth 
iEneid  treats  so  largely  of  the  mysteries  of  heathenism,  has 
been  dignified  with  this  title ;  and  an  old  chronicle,  quoted 
by  Dr.  Thomas  Williams,  asserts  that  the  Pheryllt  had  an 
establishment  at  Oxford,  prior  to  the  founding  of  the  uni- 
versity by  Alfred. 

These  Pheryllt  are  deemed  to  have  been  the  first  teachers 
of  all  curious  arts  and  sciences ;  and,  more  particularly,  are 
thought  to  have  been  skilled  in  every  thing  that  required 
the  operation  of  fire.  Hence  some  have  supposed,  that  the 
term  ifnplies  chymists  or  metallurgists.  But  chymistry  and 
metallurgy  seem  rather  to  have  taken  their  British  name 
from  these  ancient  priests,  being  called  CgHnyddyAau  Fhe- 
ryllt,  the  arts  of  the  Pheryllt,  or  some  of  those  mysteries 
in  which  they  were  eminently  conversant. 

As  primary  instructors  in  the  rites  of  Ceridwen,  or  Ceres^ 
I  regard  the  Pheryllt  as  priests  of  the  Fharaon,  or  higher 
powers,  who  had  a  city  or  temple  amongst  the  mountains 
of  Snowdon,  called  also  Dinas  Emrp,  or  the  ambrosial 


city.    And,  therefore,  iJiey  were  the  same,  in  effect,  as  the 
priests  of  the  Cabiri, 

Mr.  Bryant  assures  lls,  that  the  supposed  genius  of  tn© 
ark  was  worshipped  und6r  several  titles,  and  that  the  prin- 
cipal of  her  priests  were  the  Cabiri,  whose-  office  and  rites 
were  esteemed  particularly  sacred,  and  of  great  antiquity. 
They  were  the  same  as  the  Curetes,  Corybantes,  Telchines, 
and  Idaei  Dactyli  of  Crete.  In  treating  of  these,  continues 
my  author,  much  confusion  has  ensued,  from  not  consider-, 
ing,  that  both  the  deity  and  the  priests  were  comprehended 
under  the  same  title.  The  original  Cabiritic  divinity  was 
no  other  than  the  patriarch,  who  was  of  so  great  repute  for 
his  piety  and  justice.  Hence,  the  other  Cabiri,  his  im-s 
mediate  offipring,  are  said  to  be  the  sons  of  Sadyc,  by 
which  is  signified  the  just  man.  This  is  the  very  title  given 
to  Noah.  All  science,  and  every  useful  art,  was  attributed 
to  him,  and  through  his  sons  transmitted  to  posterity.* 

The  Telckinian  and  Cabiritic  rites,  we  are  told  by  the 
same  author,  consisted  in  arkite  memorials.  They  passed 
from  Egypt  and  Syria  into  Phrygia  and  Pontus,  from 
thence  into  Thrace,  and  the  cities  of  Greece.  They  were 
carried  into  Hetruria,  and  into  the  regions  of  theCe/te.-f- 

Whatever  route  these  ancient-  priests  may  have  pursued ; 
and  whether  they  belonged  to  the  original  establishment 
of  the  nations  here  mentioned,  or  were  imported  from  other 
people ;  their  rites,  as  described  by  the  learned  author,  are 
clearly  to  be  distinguished  amongst  the  Celtse  of  Britain  5 

*  Analys.  V-  H-  p.  461. 
i  Ibid.  p.  471. 

and  with  those  Fheryllt  ox  Druids,  who  directed  the  mys- 
teries of  Ceridwen. 

'The  tale  before  us  also  mentions,  books  of  astronomy. 
Whether  the  Druids  actually  had  such  books  or  not,  it  is 
certain  that  Caesar  enumerates  astronomy  amongst  the 
sciences  which  they  professed  ;  and  that  they  not  only  re- 
marked the  periodical  return  of  their  festivals,  but  also 
mixed  with  their  arkite  superstition,  an  idolatrous  venera- 
tion of  the  heavenly  bodies,  and  paid  a  religious  regard  tp 
their  influence, 

I  come  now  to  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen,  which  makes 
&  very  conspicuous  figure  in  the  works  of  the  mystical 
Bards,  from  the  beginning  of  the  sixth,  to  the  close  of  the 
twelfth  century.  In  these  authors,  we  find  the,  term  pair, 
OT  cauldron,  used  metaphorically  to  imply  the  whole  mass 
of  doctrine  and  discipline,  together  with  the  confined  circle 
of  arts  and  sciences,  which  pertained  to  the  ancient  priest- 
hood of  Britain.  The  preparation  of  this  vase  being  a  ne- 
cessary preliminary,  to  the  celebration  of  their  most  sacred 
mysteries,  it  stands  as  a  symbol  of  the  mysteries  themselves* 
and  of  all  the  benefits  supposed  to  result  from  themi. 

Hence  it  "becomes  a  subject  of  some  importance  in  British 
antiquities,  to  inquire  into  the  meaning  of  this  mystical 
vessel,  and  to  determine  the  question,  whether  the  ancient 
superstition  of  other  heathens  present  us  with  any  thing 
analogous  to  it.  ^ 

From  the  best  information  which  I  can  collect  upon  the 
subject,  it  does  not  appear  that  this  cauldron  implies  one 
identical  vessel,  or  at  least,  that  its  contents  were  designed 


for  one  simple  purpose.  In  the  tak  before  us  it  is  described, 
as  used  in  the  preparation  of  a  decoction  of  various  select 
plants,  which  was  to  constitute  the  water  of  inspiration  and 
science.  A  few  drops  pf  this  water  fall  upon  the  finger  of 
the  attenda;nt,  he  puts  it  i^tP  hi»  mouth,  and  immediately 
all  futurity  is  open  to  his  view..  Such  knowledge,  however, 
must  not  bg  regarded  as  the  result  of  merely  tasting  the 
water,  or  of  any  single  c^emojay  whatever ;  but  of  a  com- 
plete course  of  initiation,  of  which  the  tasting  of  this  water 
was  an  essential  rite.  i 

The  poem  called  Taliesin's  Chair,  enumerates  a  multitude 
of  ingredients,  which  entered  into  the  mystical  decoction, 
and  seems  to  describe  it  as  designed,  for  purification  by 
sprinkling,  then,  for  the  preparation  of  a  bath,  and  again, 
as  used  in  the  rite  of  libation,  and  lastly,  as>^constituting  a 
particular  kind  of  drink  for  the  aspirants.  The  sacred  vessel 
is  there  called  Pair  Pumwydd,  the  cauldron  of  the  Jive  trees 
or  plants,  alluding,  I  suppose,  to  five  particular  species  of 
plants,  which  were  deemed  essentially  requisite  in  the  pre- 

Some  of  the  mythological  tales  represent  this  pair,  as 
constituting  a  bath,  which  conferred  immortality  or  restored 
dead  persons  to  life,  but  deprived  th^m  of  utterance  :*  allud- 
ing to  the  o^th  of  secrecy f  which  was  administered  privioxis 
to  mitiatiqn. 

In  the  poem  called  Preiddeu  Anrmn,-\  Taliesin  styles  it 

•  See  a^r.  Turner's  Vindication,  p.  283, 
+  Appendix,  No.  3. 


the  cauldron  of  the  ruler  6ftJt£de.ep,  (the  aarkite  go^  rshkh 
first  begem  to  he  warmed,  \yy  the  breath  of  nine  damsels  (the 
Gwffllion,  or  GaUicena).*  He  describes  it  as  having  a  lidg^ 
of  pearls  round  its  borderj  and  says,  that  it  will  not  bdil  the 
food  of  the  cowardi  who  is  not  bound  by  his  oeith. 

Yet  the  author  of  Hanes  Taliesin,  speaks  of  the  residue 
©f  the  water,  after  the  efficacious  drops  had  been  separated, 
as  a  deadly  poison. 

From  these  various  accounts,  it  may  be  inferred,  that  the 
pair,  was  a  vessel  employed  by  the  Druids,  in  preparing'  a 
decoction  of  potent  herbs  and  other  ingredients,  to  which 
superstition  attributed  some  extraordinary  virtues  ;  that  this 
preparation  was  a  preliminary  to  the  mysteries  of  the  arkite 
goddess ;  that  in  those  mysteries,  part  of  the  decoction  was 
used  for  the  purpose  of  purification  by  sprinkling;  that 
another  part  was  applied  to  the  consecration  of  the  mystic 
bath:  that  a  smaill portion  of  the  same  decoction,  was  in- 
fused into  the  vessels  which  contained  the  liquor,  exhibited 
in  the  great  festival,  for  the  purpose  of  libation,  or  for  the 
use  of  the  priests  and  aspirants,  which  liquor,  is  described  as 
consisting  of  Gwin  a  Bragawd,  that  is,  wine  mth  mead,  and 
wort,  fermented  together:  that  all  the  sacred  Vessels  em- 
ployed in  the  mysteries  of  Ceridwen,  being  thus  purified 
and  consecrated  by  the  pair,  passed  under  its  name ;  and 
that,  in  these  appropriations,  the  water  of  the  cauldron  was 
deemed  the  water  of  inspiration,  science,  and  immortality,  as 
conducing  to  the  due  celebration  of  mysteries,  which  weVe 
supposed  to  confer  these  benefits  upon  the  votaries. 

*  See  tbe  precfdjog  Seetiqn. 


But  it  seems  that  the  residue  of  the  water,  being  now  sup- 
posed to  have  washed  away  the  mental  impurities  of  the  ini- 
tiated, with  which  impurities,  of  course  it  became  impreg- 
nated, was  now  deemed  deleterious,  and  accursed.  It  was 
therefore  emptied  into  a  deep  pit  or  eAanweZ  in- the  earth, 
which  swallowed  it  up,  together  with  the  sins  of  the  rege- 

If  we  look  for  something  analogous  to  this  in  the  ancient 
mysteries  of  Ceres,  we  shall  find,  that  the  first  ceremony 
was  that  of  purification  by  water,  that  this  rite  was  per- 
formed, both  by  crinkling  and  immersion;  and  that  the 
water  used  for  this  purpose,  underwent  a  certain  degree  of 
preparation,  similar  to  that  of  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen. 

In  the  ceremony  of  purification,  says  M.  De  Gebelin, 
they  used  laurel,  salt,  parley,  sea^water,  and  crotens  oi flowers. 
They  even  passed  through  the  fire,  and  were  at  lastj  plunged 
into  the  water,,  whence  the  hierophant,  who  was  charged  , 
with  this  office,  had  the  name  of  Hydratips,  or  the  Bap- 

The  sacred  vessel  which  contained  this  mixtnre  of  salt, 
barley,  sea-water,  and  other  ingredients  not  specified,  must 
have  corresponded  with  the  mystical  cauldron  of  the  Britons, 
amongst  the  contents  of  which  I  find  certain  "  berries,  the 
"foam  of  the  ocean,  cresses  of  a  purifying  quality,  xaort, 
"  and  chearful,  placid  vervain,  which  had  been  borne  aloft, 
"  and  kept  apart  fron;i  the  Moon."f 

•  Monde  Ptimitif.  Tom.  IV.  p.  318.     j 
t  Cadair  Taliesin,  W.  Arcliaiol.  p.  37, 


Thus  far,  the  analogy,  between,  the  purifying  water  of  the 
Greeks  and  Britons,  may  be  traced.  But.  the  mystical 
pauldroji  of  Ceridwen  was  also  employed  in  preparing  the 
liquor  of  those  magnanimous  aspirants,  who  took  and 
kept  the  oath..  It  was  one  of  its  functions  to  boil  that  be- 
verage, or  else  a  certain  portion  of  its  contents  was  added, 
by  way  of  consecration  to  the  Gwin  a  Bragawd,  or  compo- 
sition  of  wine,  honey,  water,  and  the  extract  of  malt,  or 

However  this  consecration  may  have  been  effected,  the 
correspondence  between  the  mystical  beverage  of  the  Greeks 
and  Britons,  will  appear  still  more  close. 

Weare  told,  by  Clemens  Alexandrinus,  that  as  a  prelude 
to  initiation,  the  aspirant  was  asked,  if  he  had  eaten  of  the 
fruits  of  Ceres,  to  which  he  answered — Ex  rvitzsmn  {(fxyov,  $» 

xVf/SuMv  txnot,  tKin(fiiMtit,  vers  Tgy  'monrov  'vErt^vov,.— "   J   have   eaten 

"  out  of  the  drum,  I  have  drunk  ,out  of  the  cymbal,  I  have 
"  carried  the  kemos,  I  have  been  covered  in  the  bed." 

M.  De  Gebelin  explains  the  cymbal,  as  signifying  a  vessel, 
in  the  form  of  a  krge  goblet,  out  of  which  the  aspirants 
drank  a  liquor,  called  kykeon,  which  was  a  mixture  of  wine, 
honetf,  water,  and  meal;  precisely  the  Gwin  a  Bragawd  of 
the  British  Bards. 

The  ancients  and  mytholdgists,  as  my  author  observes, 
tell  us,  that  these  symbols  were  intended  as  memorials  of 
what  had  happened  to  Ceres,  who,  upon  her 
Attica,  when  she  was. wanderiiig  in  search  of  her  daughter. 


received  this  liquOT  from  a  wQBjan  named  Bawbb,*  and 
drank  it  off  at  a  sin^e  dr£^ght.f 

The  vessel  used  in  th^  preparation  of  this  miiturfe,  -which 
was  preseinted  to  Cerefe,  is  described  by  Antontiitrs  Liberalis 
as  AifuTO  SaBvv,  a  deep  kettle  or  boiler;  this  might,  with  pro- 
priety, be  denominated  the  caraMfon  of  that  goddess. 

But  we  are  told,  the  residue  of  the  water  in  Ceridwen's 
vessel,  was  of  a  poisonous  quality.  It  now  contained  the 
sins  and  pollutions  of  the  noviciates :  the  cauldron  was 
therefore  divided  into  two  equal  parts,  and  the  water  ran  out 
of  it  into  a  certain  terrestrial  channel., 

This  dividing  of  the  water,  and  pouring  of  it  into  a^ 
channel  in  the  earth,  was  a  solemn  rite,  perfectly  analogous 
to  thje  practice  of  the  ancients  in  the  mysteries  of  Ceres. 

The  ninth  and  last  day  of  the  celebration  of  the  greater 
mysteries,  when  all  the  ablutions  and  purifications  had  been 
completed,  was  called  Plemochoe,  from  this  name  of  a  large 
earthen  vessel,  of  considerable  depth,  and  widening^  from 
the  bottom  upwards. 

On  this  day,  the  last  of  the  feast,  as  we  are  informed  by 
Athen3ejtis,J  they  filled  too  of  these  vessels  with  water,  and 
having  placed  one  of  them  towards  the  East,  and  the  other 
towards  the  West,  they  moved  them  sideways  successively, 
reciting  certain  prayers.  When  these  were  concluded, 
they  poured  the  water  into  a  kind  of  pit,  or  channel,  pro- 

*  3(tVa,  ia  tbe  ^tierhbX6l(ic,  implies  a  nyttdcg. 
t  Honde  Ptimitif.  as  cited  J>efaie» .  . 
t  Lib.  XI.  chap.  t5. 


nonnciiig  this  piiayer,  which  is  contained  in  the  Pirithous 
of  Euripides-^— 

"  May  we  be  able,  auspiciously,  to  pour  the  water  of 
"  these  vessels  into  the  terrestrial  sink."* 

Thus  it  appears  that  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen,  which 
was,  properly  speaking,  a  vessel  used  in  preparing  a  kind  of 
purifying  and  consecrating  water,  is  to  be  understood,  in  a 
figurativie  sense,  as  corresponding  with  the  several  sacred 
vessels  employed  in  the  mysteries  of  Ceres :  and  that  genim, 
icience,  and  immortality,  the  benefits  supposed  to  be  derived 
froim  that  cauldron,  are  to  be  considered  as  the  imaginary 
result  of  initiation  into  those  mysteries. 

But  it  has  already  been  observed,  that  Taliesin  describes 
this  cauldron  as  having  been  warmed,  for  the  first  time,  by 
the  breath  of  nine  damsels.  This  must  imply,  that  the 
mysteries  connected  with  the  cauldron,  were  supposed  to 
have  been  originally  instituted  by  certain ym«/e  hierophants. 
These  were  undoubtedly  the  Gwyllion,  from  whose  songs 
the  patriarch  is  fabled  to  have  derived  his  presage  of  the 
deluge,  and  who  continued  to  be  represented  by  fanatical 
priestesses,  bearing  the  same  title,  and  styled  Gallicene  bv 
Pomponius  Mela. 

Here  it  will  probably  occur  to  the  readel^  that  these  nine 
mystical  damsels  allude  to  the  mme  muses;  or  that  they  were 
merely  their  representatives  in  British  mythology. 

Th^  muses,  ittdeied,  were  T^?irded  as  promoters  of  ge- 
iiius,  as  the  patronesses  pf  science,  and  as  conferring  a  kind 

'■  ■  ■'      ■    '"  '       •"<   "'■ — 

*  S6«.  Monde  Piim.  Ten,  ^V.  p.  3S9. 


of  iminortality :  their  sacred  fountain  was  the  fountain  of 
inspiration ;  but  what  had  they  to  do  with  the  mysteries 
of  Ceres? 

As  I  wish  to  point  out  the  general  analogy  between  Bri-* 
tish  fable,  and  that  mass  of  superstition  which  pervaded 
other  heathen  countries,  I  must  be  allowed  to  suggest,  that 
the  muses  were  originally  nothing  more  than  priestesses  of 
Arkite  temples,  or  attendants  on  those  deified  characters, 
whose  history  is  decisively  referred,  both  bylMr.  Bryant 
and  Mr.  Faber,  to  that  of  the  ark,  and  the  Diluvian  age. 

The  first  songs  which  the  muses  inspired,  were  in  the 
form  of  sacred  hymns,  containing  the  titles  and  actions  of 
the  gods,  and  describing  the  rites  with  which  they  were 
worshipped :  if  therefore,  those  gods,  and  those  rites,  were 
Arkite,  the  songs  of  the  muses  must  have  been  the  same. 

Deucalion's  vessel,  which  was  evidently  the  ark  of  Noah, 
or  its  representative  in  a  Thessalian  temple,  is  said  to  have 
rested  upon  Mount  Parnassus :  and  the  favourite  ha,unt 
of  the  muses  was  about  the  Castalian  spring,  upon  that 

Mr,  Bryant  remarks,  that  when  the  Athenians  sent  their 
first  colony  into  Ionia,  the  muses  led  the  way  in  the  form 
of  bees — Melissa :  and  adds,  that  the  Melissa  were  certainly 
female  attendants  in  the  Arkite  temples.* 

In  the  next  page,  the  learned  author  tells  us,  that  as  tlie 
.priestesses  of  Damater  (Ceres),  who  sung  .the  sacred 
hymns,  were  called  ]\ielissiE,  so  that  goddess  and  Persephone, 

-■■ '.  — ' ■ —  j; '  _^_  •_   1 ' 

.,     •  Analysis,  y.. 11,  p.  376. 


had  the  title  of  Meiittodes,  from  the  songs  made  in  their 

The  MelissiB,  or  muses,  were  therefore  the  priestesses  of 

Osiris  wasS  an  avowed  representative  of  the  Diluvian  pa- 
triarch; and  his  consort,  Isis,  was  the  same  character  as 
Ceres,  the  genius  of  the  ark :  accordingly,  we  find  the 
same  nine  damsels  amongst  their  estabUshment  in  Egyptian 
mythology.  Diodorus  tells  us,  that  Osiris  was  always  at- 
tended by  a  company  of  musicians,  amongst  whom  were 
nine  damsels,  accomplished  in  every  art  relative  to  music  ^ 
that  this  was  the  reason  why  the  Greeks  called  them  the 
nine  muses,  and  that  their  president  was  Apollo,  the  king's 

Taliesin  is  not,  therefore,  unclassical,  when  he  represents 
the  nine  damsels  as  having  first  warnied  the  mystical  caul- 
dron of  the  ruler  of  the  deep,  and  the  Arkite  goddess.  And 
this  circumstance  adds  another  link  of  connexion  between 
the  mythqlogy  of  Britain,  and  that  of  Greece  and  Egypt. 

But  whence  came  the  original  idea  of  the  purifying  water, 
prepared  in  this  celebrated  cauldron  f 

In  the  tradition  of  our  ancestors,  we  find  that  the  myst 
tical  vase  was  peculiarly  sacred  to  the  god  and  goddess  of 
the  ark. ,  It  must  then  be  referred  to  something  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  deluge  f  for  the  discovery  of  which,  it  may  be 
proper  to  take  a  brief  vie>v  of  the  ideas  which  the  Britons, 
entertained  respecting  that  a^vful  event. 



.    The  following  circumstances  may  fee  verified  ty  passages 
in  the  Bards  and  the  Triads. 

The  profligacy  of  mankind  had  provoked  thcigrea^  Su- 
preme to  send  a  pestilential  wind  upon  the  earth.  A  pure 
poison  descended — every  blast  was  death.  At  this  time  the 
patriarch,,  distinguished  for  his  integrity,  was  shut '  up  to- 
gether with  his  select  company,  in  the  inclosure  with  the 
strong  door.  Here  the  just  ones  were  safe  from  injury.  Pre-: 
sently,  a  tempest  of  fire  arose.  It  split  the  earth  asunder, 
to  the  great  deep.  The  lake  Llion  burst  its  bounds ;  the 
waves  of  the  sea  lift  themselves  on  high,  round  the  borders 
of  Britain;  the  rain  poured  down  from  heaven,  and  the 
water  covered  the  earth.  But  that  water  was  intended  aa  a 
lustration,  to  purify  the  polluted  globe,  to  render  it  meet  for 
the  renewal  of  life,  and  to  wash  away  the  contagion  of  its 
former  inhabitants  into  the  chasms  of  the  abyss.  The  flood^ 
which  swept  from  the  surface  of  the  earth  the  expiring 
remains  of  the  patriarch's  contemporaries,  raised  his  vessel, 
or  inclosure,  on  high,  from  the  ground,  bore  it  safe  upon  the 
summit  of  the  waves,  and  proved  to  him  and  his  associates 
the  water  of  life  and  renovation. 

Agreeably  to  these  ideas,  the  cauldron  which  was  kept 
boiling  for  a  year  and  a  day ;  whicli  purified  the  sacred 
utensils,  and  the  company  assembled  at  the  mystic  festival ; 
and  with  its  dregs  washed  away  the  sins  of  the  regenerate 
into  the  terrestrial  channel,  may  have  been  regarded  as  an 
emblem  of  the  deluge  itself. 

This  comes  very  near  to  the  view  which  the  learned  and 
indefatigable  Mr.  Maurice  has  taken  of  some  ancient  Hin- 
doo traditions. 


But  how  ar£  we  to  account  for  such  a  coincidence  in  the 
mythology  of  nations,  so  widely  separated  i  Perhaps  it 
would  not  be  an  unreasonable  supposition,  that  the  rudi- 
ments of  those  fanciful  systems,  which  prevailed  over  the 
Oen tile  world,  whatever  changes  they  may  have  afterwards 
undergone  from  local  corruption  and  mutual  intercourse, 
were  laid  before  the  nations  separated  from  the  patriarchal 
stock.  How  are  we  otherwise  to  account  for  the  prevalence 
of  the  same  fabulous  relations,  and  commemorative  symr 
bols,  in  the  East  of  Asia,  and  amongst  a  sequestered  peo- 
ple in  the  West  of  Europe  ?  I  am  aware  that  this  difficulty 
has  generally  been  resolved  by  the  supposition,  that  certain 
Eastern  sages,  in  some  distant  age,  found  their  way  into 
tliese  remote  regions.  But  ,the  experience  of  our  country- 
men and  neighbours,  for  the  last  three  hundred  years,  may 
serve  to  convince  us,  that  a  new  religion,  essentially/  differ- 
ent from  that  of  an  established  society,  whether  polished 
or  barbarous,  is  not  easily  introduced.  However  this  inay 
have  been,  it  is  curious  to  observe,  in  the  old  poems  and 
tales  of  the  Britons,  and  in  the  ancient  books  of  the  Hin- 
doos, the  same  train  of  superstitious  ideas. 

The  author  of  the  Indian  antiquities  having  told  us,  that 
the  Soars,  bemg  assembled  in  solemn  consultation,  were 
meditating  the  discovery  of  the  Amreeta,  or  water  of  im- 
mortality; remarks,  that  under  this  allegory  is  shadowed 
out  the  re-animation  of  nature,  after  the  general  desolation 
made  by  the  deluge.  The  sea  was  to  be  deeply  agitated  by 
the  impetuous  rotation  of  the  mountain  Mandar. 

The  author  then  recites  the  gigantic  fable,  which  con- 
cludes thu6.  "  And  now,  a  heterogeneous  stream,  of  the 
"  concocted  juice  of  various  trees  and  plants,  ran  down  into 
"  the  briny  flood.    It  was  from  this  milk-like  stream  of 

Q  ^ 


"juices,  produced  from  those  streams,  trees,  and  planti, 
"  and  a  mixture  of  melted  gold,  that  the  Soors  obtained 
**  their  immortality." 

"  Concerning  these  extravagant  mythological  details  of 
*'  the  Hindoos  (continues  Mr.  Maurice),  I  must  remark, 
*'  that  however  mysterious  the  allegory,  and  however  wild 
"  and  romantip  the  language  in  which  it  is  clothed,  this 
"  fact  may  he  depended  upon^  that  there  in  general  lies 
"  concealed  at  the  bottom  some  physical  meaning,  or  deep 
"  theological  truth. — What  can  this  general  and  stupendous 
*'  convulsion  of  nature  shadow  out,  except  the  desolation 
"  of  the  earth,  during  the  period  of  the  universal  deluge ! 
*'  Who  is  that  physician,  so  renowned  in  ancient  Sanscrit 
"histories,  the  great  Dew  Danwantaree,  who  at  length 
"  rose  from'the  churned  ocean,  the  white  foam  of  which 
*'  resembled  milk,  bearing  in  his  hand  a  sacred  ■ease,  full  of 
"  the  water  of  life — Unless  it  be  the  venerable  sage,  who 
"  rose  from  the  ocean,  who  gave  new  life  to  his  expiring 
*'  species,  and  in  his  family  upheld  the  human  race  ? — ^That 
"  great  botanist,  who  first  planted  the  vine,  and  returned 
"  to  the  ground  that  infinite  variety  of  medical  herbs,  and 
*'  innumerable  seeds,  which — Menu  is  represented,  as  taking 
**  into  the  ark,  for  the  express  purpose  of  renovating  de- 

*'  cayed  vegetation  after  the  deluge. Such  is  the  true 

"  meaning  of  this  Avatar ;  and  such — is  the  true  Danwan- 
*'  taree  of  India,  who  sprung  from  the  foam- of  the  churned 
"  ocean,  bearing  the  Amreeta,  or  vital  ambrosia,  to  tlie 
"  renovated  world."* 

To  the  reader,  who  is  not  furnished  with  the  Indian  anti- 
quities, I  need  not  apologize  for  the  length  of  these  ex- 

"" ^ i— I  I  I  !■  .11.111  -III  Ml  iBi~  r  "•  • 

•  Indian  Autiq.  "V.  II.  p.  S70,  &c. 


ti'acts;  and,  I  trust,  .the  learned,  author  will  excuse  my 
making  so  free  with  his  labours,  in  consideration  of  the 
light  which  they  reflect  upon  the  renovating  cauldron  of 
Ceridwen,  and  the  ruler  of  the  deep,  and  perhaps  also 
upon  the  k«xeb»,  or  sacred  mixture  of  the  Arkite  goddess, 
and  her  renovating  mysteries.  But  to  return  to  the  British 


"  Ceridwen  entering  just  at  this  moment,  and  perceiving 
"  that  her  whole  year's  labour  was  entirely  lost,  seized  an 
"  oar,  and  struck  the  blind  Morda  upon ,  his  head,  so  that 
"  one  of  his  eyes  dropped  upon  his  cheek. 

"  Thou  hast  disfigured  me  wrongfully,  exclaimed  Morda, 
"  seeing  I  am  innocent :  thy  loss  has  not  been  occasioned  by 
"  any  fault  of  mine," 

"  True,  replied  Ceridwen,  it  was  Gwion  the  Little  who 
"  robbed  me.  Having  pronounced  these  words,  she  began 
"  to  run  in' pursuit  of  him. 

"  Gwion  perceiving  her  at  a  distance,  transformed  him- 
"  self  into  a  hare,  and  doubled  his  speed:  but  Ceridwen 
"  instantly  becoming  a  greyhound  bitch,  turned  him,  and 
"  chased  him  towards  a  river. 

"  Leaping  into  the  stream,  he  assumed  the  form  of  a 
"  ^sh :  but  his  resentful  enemy,  who  was  now  become  aa 


"  otter  hitch,  traced  him  through  the  stream ;  so  that  he 
"  was  obliged  to  take  the  form  of  a  bird,  and  mount  into 
"  the  air. 

"  That  element  afforded  him  no  refuge ;  for  the  lady,  in 
"  the  form  of  a  sparrow  hawk  was  gaining  upon  him — she 
"  was  just  in  the  act  of  pouncing  him. 

"  Shuddering  with  the  dread  of  death,  he  perceived  a 
"  heap  of  clean  wheat  upon  a  floor,  dropped  into  the  midst 
"  of  it,  and  assumed  the  form  of  a  single  grain. 

"  Ceridwen  took  the  form  of  a  Hack,  high-crested  hen, 
"  descended  into  the  wheat,  scratched  him  out,  distin- 
"  guished  and  swallowed  him.  And,  as  the  history  relates, 
"  she  was  pregnant  of  him  nine  months,  and  when  delivered 
"  of  him,  she  found  him  so  lovely  a  babe,  that  she  had  not 
"  resolution  to  put  him  to  death. 

"  She  placed  him,  however,  in  a  coracle,  covered  with  a 
"  skin,  and,  by  the  instigation  of  her  husband,  cast  him 
"  into  the  sea  on  the  twenty-ninth  of  April" 

Through  the  fabulous  wildness  of  this  chapter,  we  may 
discover  constant  allusions  to  the  history  of  Certes,  and  her 
mystical  rites.  Ceridwen  here  assumes  the  character  of  a 
fury.  Under  that  idea,  she  is  elsewhere  represented.  Ta- 
liesin  says  of  himself,  that  he  had  been  nine  months  in  the 
womb  of  Ceridwen  Wrach,  the  hag,  or  fury.  This  fury 
was  the  goddess  of  death.  The  death  of  Arthur  is  implied, 
by  his  contending  with  the  fury  in  the  hall  cf  Glaston" 


hary.*    And,  as  Ceridwen  was  the  genius  of  a  sacred  ship, 
®o  death,  of  which  she  was  the  goddei 
the  character  of  the  ship  of  the  earth. 

®o  death,  of  which  she  was  the  goddess,  is  represented  under 

Pawb  a  ddaw  i'r  Ddqear  Long,\  says  the  Bard — "  Every 
"  one  will  come  into  the  ship  of  the  earth ;"  that  is,  all  rnen 
must  die. 

All  this  is  strictly  applicable  to  Ceres,  considered  as  the 
genius  of  the  airk.  She  was  sometimes  enrolled  in  the  list  of 
the  Furies.'!^  Under  this  character  she  seems  to  have  re- 
presented the  terror  and  consternation,  to  which  the  pa- 
triarch and  his  family  were  exposed  during  the  deluge. 

She  was  also  the  goddess  of  dea^/«.  When  the  ark  was 
constructed,  Noah  made  a  door  in  its  side ;  a  circumstance 
continually  commemorated  by  the  Gentile  writers.  The 
entrance  through  this  door,  they  esteemed  a  passage  to  death 
and  darkness.^  Hence  the  aspirants,  in  the  mysteries  of 
Ceres  and  Isis,  as  well  as  Gwion,  in  our  British  tale,  were 
terrified  with  the  image  of  death. 

"  Nothing  can  he  conceived  more  solemn,  than  the  rites 
"  of  initiation  into  the  greater  mysteries,  as  described  by 
"  Apuleius  and  Dion  Chrysostom,  who  had  gone  through 
"  the  awful  ceremony :  nothing  more  tremendous  and  ap- 
"  palling,  than  the  scenery  exhibited  before  the  eyes  of  the 
'i  terrified  aspirant.  It  was  a  rude  and  fearful  march,  tiirough 
"  night  and  darkness— and  now,  arrived  on  the  verge  of 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  67 

+  Ibid.  p.  322. 

J  Bryant's  Analysis^  V.  I.  p.  48S. 

i  Ibid.  V.  II  p.  257. 


"  death  and  initiation,  every  thing  wears  a  dreadful  aspect ; 
"  it  is  all  horror,  trembling,  and  astonishment: — *  Accessi 
"  confinium  mortis,  says  Apuleius,  et  calcato  proserpinee 
"  limine,  per  omnia  vectus  element^  remeavi."f 

But  let  us  proceed  to  consider  the  incidents  of  the  story — 
Ceridwen  seizes  an  oar,  and  strikes  the  Damon  of  the  sea 
upon  his  head. 

The  instrument  was  a  proper  symbol  to  be  employed  by 
the  genius  of  a  Routing  vessel,  and  the  action  an  emblem  of 
her  triumph  over  the  wdte/ry  element. 

The  goddess  then  transforms  herself  into  a  bitch.  How- 
ever degrading  the  symbol,  these  animals  seem  to  have 
had  a  particular  connexion  with  the  mysteries  of  Ceres  and 

Vijgil,  in  the  sixth  book  of  his  iEneid,  describes  all  that 
it  was  lawful  to  reveal  of  the  Eleusinian  mysteries ;  and  we 
find  that  the  first  terrific  objects  which  presented  them'- 
selves  to  the  senses  of  his  hero,  whilst  the  priestess  was  con-, 
ducting  him  towasds  the  mystic  river,  were  in  the  form  of 
iitches.-^X  Fisaque  capes  ylulare  per  umbras.  | 

Upon  this  passage,   M.  De  Gebelin  remarks  — ^[Pl^thon 

•  "  I  apptoacbed  the  conflnes  of  death,  smd  having  nearly  trodden  the  thres- 
'*  hold  6{  Fiosperine,  I  returned,  being  ca^rie^  t^iou^h  aU  the  eleo^ents." 

i  See  Ind.  Antiq.  V.  II.  p.  312,  &c. 

%  And  bitche.3  seem  to  howl  amidst  the  gloom. 

J  V.  257. 

H  Fletho,  in  his  notes  upon  the  magical  pracles  of  Zoioaster,  also  speaks  of 
the  dogs  mentioned  by  Virgil,  It  is  th^  custom,  saya  he,  in  the  celebration  of 
the  mysteries,  to  exhibit  to  the  initiated  certain  fantoms,  iij  tU$  figure  oX  dog^s^ 
Qn4  (ROQy  otb^r  monstfons  spectres  and  apparitions. 

(Scholies  sur  les  oracles  magiques  de  Zoroastre)  parle  aussi  des 
chiens,  dont  Virgile  fait  mention.  Cest  la  contume,  dit  il, 
dans  la  celebration  des  mystereSj-^de-faire  paroitre  devant 
les  initios,  des  fant6mes,  sous  la  figure  des  vhiens,  et  plu- 
sieurs  aiitres  spectres  et  visions  monstreuses."* 

In  the  sculpture  which,  according  to  this  author,  repre- 
sents the  Eleusinian  cave,  Ceres  is  attended  by  a  dog,  and 
the  aspirant  in  the  form  of  a  child,  is  brought  into  the  cave 
by  another  dog.-^ 

Plutarch  tells  us,  that  Isis  was  assisted  by  certain  dogs, 
in  the  discovery  of  Anubis,  the  child  of  Osiris,  whom  his 
mother  had  exposed,  because  she  dreaded  the  anger  of 

This  child,  the. goddess  adopted  and  educated  ;  he  became 
her  companion  and  faithful  guard.  He  had  the  name  of 
Anubis,  because  he  displayed .  the  same  vigilance  in  the 
cause  of  the  gods,  which  dogs  manifested  in  behalf  of  their 
human  masters. 

The  tale,  as  here  related,  can  only  be  regarded  as  the  his- 
tory of  an  aspirant,  who  was  initiated  into  the  mysteries  of 
Isis,  instructed  in  the  rites  and  discipline  of  her  temple,  and 
afterwards  became  her  priest. 

Mt.  Bryant  quotes  the  authority  of  Diodosus,  who  in- 
foiTns  us,  that  at  the  grand  celebration  of  Isis,  the  whole 
solemnity  was  preceded  by  dogs.  This  author  indeed,  pro- 
duces.^ many  instances  of  gods,  and  their  representatives,  the 

•  Mpnde  Primitif.  Tpbj.  IV.  p.  33fi. 

+  im-  p.  339. 


priests  being  termed  K3mf,dogs;  but  he  attributes  this  title 
to  the  ignorance  of  the  Greeks,  who,  according  to  him, 
mistook  the  Hebrew  and  Egyptian  term,  cohen,  a  priest,  for 
Kvut,  which  in  their  own  language,  implies  a  dog.* 

But,  as  the  mythology  of  other  nations,  not  intimately 
connected  with  the  Greeks,  and  who  did  not  use  their  vo- 
cabulary, furnishes,  us  with  a  similar  application  of  eqniva- 
lent  titles  ;  and  as  gods  sad  priests,  with  dogs'  heads,  appear 
in  Egyptian,  and  other  foreign  monuments ;  it  may  be  sus- 
pected, that  there  was  something  more  in  these  titles,  than 
a  mere  blunder  of  the  Greeks. 

Agreeably  to  Plutarch's  hint,  there  may  have  been  some 
allusion  to  the  fidelity,  vigilance,  and  sagacity  of  the  animal. 
And  whatever  served  to  keep  aloof  profane  intrusion,  and 
defend  the  awful  sanctity  of  the  temple,  may  have  been 
symbolized  by  the  guardian  dog.  Thus  the  dog  of  Gwyn  ab 
Nudd,  the  British.  Pluto,  is  named  Dor-Marth,-\  the  gate 
of  sorrow:  this  was  no  real  dog,  but  probably  the  same  as 
the  Proserpina  Limen,  which  Apuleius  approached  in  the 
course  of  initiation. 

These  particulars  may  suffice  to  account  for  the  device  of 
our  British  mythologist,  in  transforming  Ceridwen,  the 
Ceres  or  Isis  of  the  Druids,  into  a  bitch  ;  whilst  the  aspirant 
was  converted  into  a  hare.  This  animal,  as  we  learn  from 
Caesar,  was  deeHied  sacred  by  the  Britons  ;  at  the  same  time 
it  was  an  emblem  of  timidity,  iiitimating  the  great  terror  to 
wbich  the  noviciate  was  ex|)osed,  during  the  mystical 

»  See  Analysis,  V.  I.  p.  40.  108.  329,'  &c. 
t  W.  ArChaiol.  p.  166. 


This  hare  is  turned,  and  driven  towards  a,  river.  But  he 
is  still  in  the  road  to  initiation.  After  the  preparation  of  the 
consecrated  water,  and  the  k.vk£uv,  the  first  ceremony  in  the 
mysteries  of  the  Greeks,  was  that  of  purification,  which  was 
celebrated,  upon  the  banks  of  rivers.  The  Athenians  per- 
formed this  ceremony  at  Agra,  on  the  Ilissus,  a  river  of 
Attica.  Hence  the  banks  of  that  river  were  called  the 
mystic  banks,  and  the  stream  itself  had  the  name  of  ©tswesio?, 
the  divine. 

Here  our  noviciate  takes  the  form  of  a  fish,  whilst  the 
goddess  herself,  or  rather  her  priest,  assumes  the  character 
of  an  otter.  If  xukj,  dogs,  represented  heathen  priests  in  ge- 
neral, and  especially  those  of  Ceres  and  Isis ;  the  otter,  or 
water  dog,  may  very  aptly  typify  the  priest,  called  Hydranps, 
who  always  attended  those  mystieries,  and  whose  ofiice  it 
was  to  plunge  the  aspirant  into  the  stream. 

The  next  change  of  the  aspirant  was  into  a  bird.  The 
ispecies  is  not  named.  It  was  probably  the  Dryw,  which 
implies  both  a  wren  and  a  Driiid;  and  Taliesin  tells  us  that 
he  had  been  in  that  form.  His  adversary  became  a  hawk; 
but  we  are  told,  that  the  hawk  was  a  known  symbol  of 

At  last,  the  novitiate  becomes  a  grain  of  pure  wheat,  and 
mixes  with  an  assemblage  of  the  same  species  and  character. 
He  was  now  cleansed  from  all  his  impurities,  and  he  had 
assumed  a  form,  which  was  eminently  sacred  to  Ceres.  In 
this  form,  therefore,  the  goddess  receives  him  into  her  bo- 
som.    In  order  to  accomplish   this  design,  she  transforms 

•  Iqd.  Antiq.  Y-  H-  P-  348. 


herself  into  a  hen,  wliich  was  ,  deemed  a  sacred  animal  by 
the  Britons,  ,in  the  days  of  Caesar-* 

The  singular  representation  of  Ceridwen,  as  swallowing 
the  aspirant ;  and  of  the  latter,  as  continuing  for  a  consi- 
dfirahle  time  imprisoned  in  her  womb,  must  imply  some- 
thing more  than  his  mere  introduction  into  the  sanctuary. 
This  aspirant  was  intended  for  the, priesthood:  and  we  have 
here  the  history  of  his  inclosure,  in  some  ship,  cell,  or 
cave,  which  more  immediately  symbolized  the  person  of  the 
mystical  goddess,  In  this  inclosure,  he  was  subjected  to 
a  rigid  course  of  discipline.  Here  he  studied  the  fanati- 
cal rites,  and  imbibed  the  sacred  doctrines  of  Ceridwen. 

This  is  consonant  with  the  practice  of  other  heathens. 
Porphyry,  in  his  treatise,  De  Antra  Nympharum,  tells  us, 
that  Zoroaster  consecrated  a  natural  ceU,  adorned  with 
flowers,  and  watered  with  fountains,  in  honour  of  'Mithra, 
the  of  the  universe :  and  that  the  Persians,  iatending 
mystically,  to  represent  the  desc€;nt  of  the  soul  into  an  in- 
ferior nature,  and  its  subseqiient  ascent,  into  the  intellec- 
tual world,  initiated  the  priest, — in  caverns,  or  places  so  fa- 
bricated as  to  jesemble  them.-)' 

I  shall  return  to  this  subject  in  a  future  section,  when  I 
inquire  into  the  nature  of  some  of  the  monuments  of  Dru- 
idism.  But  I  must  now  remark,  that  as  the  completion  of 
the  initiatory  rites  was  deemed  by  the  Gentiles  a  regene- 
ration, or  new  birth,  and  distinguished  by  that  name;  so 
our  aspirant  is  represented  as  having  been  born  again,  of 
the  mystical  Ceridwen. 

•  Vide  De  Bello  Gallico,  L.  V.  C.  18. 
+  See  Ifii.  Antiq.  V.  II.  p.  24?. 


As  yet,  however,  we  seem  to  have  been  only  contemplat- 
ing the  lesser  mysteries — the  greater  are  still  to  succeed. 

After  the  aspirant  had  completed  his  course  of  discipline 
in  the  cell,  had  gone  through  the,  ceremonies  of  the  lesser 
mysteries,  and  had  been  born  a^ain  of  Ceredweh  ;  we  are 
told,  that  this  goddess  inclosed  him  in  a  small  boat,  covered 
with  skin,  and  cast  him  into  the  sea. 

This  will  be  best  explained  by  the  Greek  solemnities. 

The  first  day  of  the  greater  mysteries  of  Ceres,  was  called 
Agyrme,  the  convocation,  being  destined  to  the  reception, 
ablution,  and  purification  of  the  candidates. 

The  second  day  had  the  natne  of  "aAkJe  M»rai,  "  Noviciates 
"  to  the  sea:"  this  being  the  form  by  which  the  herald  sum- 
moned those  who  had  passed  through  the  lesser  mysteries, 
to  the  sea  shore,  for  the  purpose,  as  some  have  supposed, 
of  completing  their  purification;  but  the  ceremony  seems 
to  have  had  a  further  meaning,  and  it  is  probable,  that  on 
this  day,  the  noviciates  embarked  upon  the  sea  in  certain 
vessels,  commemorative  of  the  real  history  of  Ceres,  as  ge- 
nius of  the  floating  ark  :  for,  in  these  mysteries,  the  whole  « 
truth  was  to  be  revealed.  Accordingly  we  are  told,  that 
Phocion,  the  Athenian  general,  taking  advantage  of  this 
day's  solemnity,  put  to  sea,  and  engaged  the  enemy  in  a 
naval  combat.*  But  let  us  observe  the  progress  of  the  Bri- 
tish ceremony. 

•  PIul.  in  Vita  Phor. 


lilmS  f AOESIN.— Chap.  IV. 

"  In  thdse  times,  Gwyddno's  wear  stood  out  in  the  beach, 
"  between  Dyvi  and  Aberystwyth,  near  his  own  castle, 
"  And  in  that  wear,  it  was  usual  to  take  fish,  to  the  value 
"  of  a  hundred  pounds>  every  year,  upon  the  eve  of  the 

"  first  of  May. 

"  Gwyddno  had  an  only  son,  named  Elphin,  who  had 
"  been  a  most  unfortunate  and  necfessitous  young  man. 
"  This  was  a  great  affliction  to  his  father,  who  began  to 
"  think  that  he  had  been  bom  in  an  evil  hour. 

"  His  counsellors,  however,  persuaded  the  father  to  let 
"  this  son  have  the  drawing  of  the  wear  on  that  year,  by 
"  way  of  experiment;  in  order  to  prove  whether  any  good 
"fortune  would  ever  attend- him,  and  that  he  might  have 
"  something  to  begin  the  world. 

"  The  next  day,  being  May-eve,  Elphin  examined  the 
."  wear,  and  found  nothing :  but  as  he  was  going  away,  he 
"  perceived  the  coracle,  covered  with  a  skin,  resting  upon 
"  the  pole  of  the  dam. 

"  Then  one  of  the  wearmen  said  to  him,  Thou  hast  never 
"  been  completely  unfortunate  before  this  night ;  for  now 
"  thou  hast  destroyed  the  virtue  of  the  wear,  in  which  the 
^'  value  of  a  hundred  pounds  was  always  taken  upon  the 
"  eve  of  May-day.  ~ 

"  How  so  ?  replied  Elphin — that  coracle  may  possibly 
"  contain  the  value  of  a  hundred  pounds. 


"  The  skin  was  opened,  and  the  opener  perceiving  the 
"  forehead  of  an  infant,  said  to  Elphin — Behold  Taliesin, 
"  radiant  front ! 

"  Madiant  front  he  his  name,  rephed  the  pjince,  who 
"  now  lifted  the  infant  in  his  arms,  commiserating  his  own 
"  misfortune,  ^and  placed  him  hehind  him  upon  his  own 
"  horse,  as  if  it  had,heen  in  the  most  easy  chair, 

"  Immediately  after  this,  the  habe  composed  for  Elphin 
"  a  song  of  consolation  and  praise  ;  at  the  same  time,  he 
"  prophesied  of  his  future  renown.  The  consolation  was 
"  the  first  hymn  which  Taliesm  sung,  in  order  to  comfort 
>'  Elphin,  who  was  grieved  for  his  disappointment:  in  the 
'-*  draught  of  the  weai; ;  and  still  more  so,  at  the  thought 
"  that  the  world  would  impute  the  fault  and  misfortune 
"  wholly  to  himself." 

Elphin  carries  the  new-horn  babe  to  the  castle,  and  pre- 
sents him  to  his  father,  who  demands  whether  he  was  a 
human  being  or  a  spuit;  and  is  answered  in  a  mystical 
song,  in  which  he  professes  himself  &■  general  primary 
Bard,  who  had  existed  in  all  ages,  and  identifies  his  own 
char.acter  with  that  of  the  sun. 

Gwyddno,  astonished  at  his  proficiency,  demands  ano- 
ther song,  and  is  answered  as  follows : 

Ar  y  dwr  mae  cjfflwr,  Stc* 

»  W.Arcliaiol.,  p.  76. 


"  Water  has  the  property  of  Conferring  A  blessing.  It  is 
"  meet  to  think  rightly  of  God.  It  is  meet  to  pray  earnestly 
"  to  God ;  because  the  benefits  which  proceed  from  him, 
"  cannot  be  impeded. 

"  Thrice  have  I  been  born.  I  know  how  to  meditate.  It 
"  is  woeful  that  men  will  not  come  to  seek  all  the  sciences 
"  of  the  world,  which  are  treasured  in  my  bosom  ;  for  I 
♦'  know  all  that  has  been,  and  all  that  will  be  hereafter,"  &c. 

Let  us  now  make  a  few  observations  upon  our  jnytholo- 
gist's  account  of  Ihose  mystic  rites,  to  their  final  com- 

I  have  already  taken  notice,  that  Taliesin,  radiant  front, 
was,  properly  a  title  of  the  sun,  and  thence  transferred  to 
his  priest.  This  priest  had  now,  for  a  complete  year,  at- 
tended the  preparation  of  the  mystical  cauldron  i  he  had 
received  the  water  of  inspiration,  and  with  it  the  sacreJ 
lessons  of  Ceridwen :  he  had  been  received  and  swallowed 
up  by  that  goddess,  and  had  remained  for  some  time  in  her 
womb,  or  had  been  subjected  to  a  course  of  discipline  in 
the  mystical  cell,  and  at  length  he  had  been  born  again. 

But  after  this,  we  find  him  inclosed  in  a  coracle,  or  small 
boat,  cast  into  the  sea,  and  consigned  into  the  hands  of 
Gwyddno  Garanhir,  and  hi's  son  Elphin. 

The  very  process  here  described,  evidently  relates  to  a 
connected  Series  of  mystical  rites,  allusive  to  one  history  t 
and  the  character  and  connexions  of  Ceridwen,  the  great 


ageilt,  compared  with  the  import  of  the  mysteries  of  Ceres, 
teis  elucidated  by  Mr.  Bryant  and- Mr.  Faber,  abundantly 
prove,  that  the  reference  must  be  made  to  the  history  of  th 

According  to  this  tale,  therefore,  the  Britons  celebrated 
the  commemoration  of  the  deliverance  out  of  the  ark  upon 
the  eve  of  May-day.  And  if  they  supposed  the  deluge  to 
feave  continued  for  a  year  and  a  day,^  the:  period  which,  was 
employed  in  preparing  the  mystical  cauldron,  the  anniver- 
sary of  its  commencement  would  fall,  of  course,  upon  the 
twenty-ninth  of  April. 

As  Ceridwen  threw  the  coracle  into  the  sea  upon  that 
day,  so  opportune  for  .the-  drawing'  of  Gwddno's  wear  on 
the  morrow,  it  may  be  inferred,  that  Gwyddno  and  his  son 
Were  intimately  connected  with  the  family  of  Ceridwen. 
Taking  all  circumstances  into  account,  we  may  even  pre- 
sume, that  they  were  the  same  as  her  husband  Tegid,  and 
her  unfortunate  son  Avagddu. 

Tegid,  indeed,  is  said  to  have  had  two  sons,  whereas 
Gwyddno  is  described  as  having  but  one  at  this  time :  but  it 
may  be  yeplied,  that  Morvran,  the  raven  of  the  sea,  had  de- 
sertted  his  family,  previous  to  the  debarkation  from  the  ark. 

The  idea  here  suggested  respecting  Gwyddno,  differs 
from  the  received  opinion  of-  the  Welsh,  which  Mr.  Owen 
thus  details  in  his  Cambrian  Biography. 

"  Gwyddno  Garanhir,  or  Dewrarth  Wledig,  was  a  Prince 
"  of  Cantrev  j  Gwaelod,  and  also  a  poet,  some  of'  whose 
"  composition  is  in  the,  Welsh  Archaiology.    He  flourished, 

"  frbm  about  A.  D.  460,  to  520.  Thfe  whole  of  his  terri- 
"  tory  was  invtndatecl  by  the  sea  in  his  life-time,  and  it 
"  forms  the  present  Cardigan  Bay." 

The  whole  of  this  account,  though  literally  understood 
in  the  country,  appears  to  me  nothing  more  than  a  piece  of 
local  mythology,  of  the  same  kind  as  those  tales,  which 
assert  the  submersion  of  cities  in  the  lakes  of  Wales.-  But 
let  us  hear  the  record  of  the  catastrotphe,  as  preser>ved  io 
the  Triads. 

"  Seithinin  the  Drunkard,  the  son  df  Seithin  Saidi,  King 
"of  Dyved,  in  his  liquor  let  in  the  sea,  over  Cantre'r 
"  Gwaelod,  so  as  to  destroy  all  the  houses  and  lands  &f  the 
"  place,  where,  prior  t6  that  event,  -there  had  been  sixteen 
**  cities,  the  best  of  all  the  towns  and  cities  of  Wales,  ex.- 
"  cepting  Caerleon  upon  Usk.  This  district  was  the  domi- 
"  nion  of  Gwyddnaw  Garanhir,  King  of  Caredigiawn. 
"  The  event  happened  in  the  time  of  Mmrys,  the  sovereign. 
"  The  men  who  escajied  the  inundation,  came  to  land  in 
"  A'rdudwy,  in  the  regions  of  Arvon,  and  in  the  mountains 
"  of  Snowdon,  and  other  places  which  had  hitherto  been 
"  uninhabited."  * 

This  is,  undoubtedly,  the  substance  of  an  old  Mabinogi, 
or  mythological  tale,  and  ought  not  to  be  received  as  au- 
thentic history.  Eor,  in  the  first  place,  Cardigan  Bay  did 
e^^t  in  the  time  of  Ptolemy,  who  marks  the  promontories 
by  which  it  is  circumscribed,  and  the  mouths  of  the  nvers 
which  it  receives,  in  nearly  the  same  relative  situations 
which  they  retain  at  present.     But  neither  Ettdemy,  nor 

»  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  64. 

any  other  aiioient  geographer,  takes  notice  of  owe  of  those 
sixteen  cities,  >vhich  are  said  to  fhave  been  los.fe  there  in  the 
sixth  century. 

In  the  next  place,  we  know  enotigh  of  the  geography  of 
Wales,  both  ancient  and  modern,  to  form  a  decisive  con- 
clusion, that  a  single  Cantrev,  or  hundred,  neyer  did  con- 
tain sixteen  ito>v;ns,  which  would  ibear  the  slightest  compa- 
rison with  Caerleon,  siKjh  as  it  was  in  the  supposed  age  of 

Again;  the  incident  is  generally  represented  as  having 
happened,  in  consequence  of  having  neglected  to  close  a 
sluice;  a  cause  inadequate,  surely,  to  the  alleged  effect. 
And  the  omission  is  imputed  to  a  son  of  Seithin  Saidi,  King 
of  Dyved,  a  character  whom  we  have  already  traced  into 
the  regions  of  mythology.  We  have  marked  his  intimate 
connexion  with  the  history  of  the  deluge,  and  the  mystic 
rites  by  which  it  was  commemorated,  and  have  ascertained 
his  identity  with  Tegid,  the  husband  of  Geridwen. 

The  landing  of  those  who'  escaped  from  this  drowned 
country,  upon  the  mountains  of  Snowdpn,  is  like  the  land- 
ing of  Deucalion  upon  Mount  Parnassus.  It  is  not  his- 
tory, but  mythology.  The  district  of  Snowdon,  from  the 
remotest  period  of  -British  mythology,  was  famous  for  its 
Arkite  memorials.  Here  was  the  city  of  Mmrys,  or  the 
ambrosial  city — this  was  also  called  the  city  of  Fhardon,  or 
■tlie  higher  powers ;  that  is,  the  J^aalim,  or  AiJiite  patriarchs. 
Here  the  dragons  were  concealed  in  the  time  of  Beli*  (the 
solar  deity),  and  in  the  time  of  Prydain,  ihe  son  of  Aedd 

E  2 

— — — ■ . -■'•^  r- rrr-'T— 

•  W.ArchBiol.  V.  11.  p.59. 

ike  Great j'^  a  mystical  personage  o/  the  Same  family*  As 
dragons  were  harnessed,  in  the  car  of  the  British  Ked,  as 
well  as  in  that  of  Ceres,  the  concealing  of  these  animals, 
in  a  city  of  the  higher  powers,  must  imply  an  establish- 
ment of  her  mysteries. 

The  land  of  Gwyddno  is  said  to  have  been  inundated  in 
the  time  of  Emrys,  the  sovereign.  This  is  the  parsonage 
from  whom  the  temple  of  Stonehenge,  as  well  as  the  sacred 
city  in  Snowden,  derived  its  name.  .  If  the  Britons  of  the 
fifth  century  had  a  monarch  who  bore  this  title,  we  can 
only  say,  that  like  his  successors  Uthyr  anc(  Arthur,  he  was 
complimented  with  a  name  out  of  the  vocabulary  of  the 
Druids;  and  that  the  age  otEmrys  was  any  age,  which  ac-» 
knowledged  the  Helio-arkite  superstition. 

Let  us  then  return  to  the  dominions  of  Gwyddnaw.  We 
are  told  that ,  his  castle  stood  near  the  shore,  between  Dyvi 
and  Aberystwyth:  atid  that  his  wear,  in  which  a  valuable 
capture  was  annually  made,  upon  the  eve  of  Mdy-day,  was 
near  that  castle,  in  the  opposite  beach.  This  gives  the  same 
topography  of  the  coast  which  we  find  at  present ;  and  the 
stated  period  of  the  capture  points  to  some  mystical  mean- 
ing. It  connects  the  tale  of  Gwyddnaw  with  that  of  Ce- 
ridwen,  who  chose  the  time  and  place,  in  the  exposure  of 
the. coracle,  so  conveniently  for  its  recovery  in  the  mystical 
wear,  upon  the  sacred  eve.  Hence  we  may  expect  to  find, 
that  Gwyddnaw  was  the  same  character  as  Seithinin,  or 
Serthin,  who  introduced  the  sea  over  the  land,  and  conse- 

•  W.  Arclisiol.  V,  U.  p.  55. 


«juently  tlic  same  as  Tegid;  or  a  representative  of  the  great 

His  name  seems  to  imply  pn'esf  of  the  ship,  from  Gziiydd, 
presence,  attendance,  and  Now,  an  old  term  for  a  ship, 
which  is  retained  by  Taliesin  and,  Meugant.* 

This  prince  had  the  surname  or  title  of  Garanhir,  which 
literally  means,  the  long  or  high  crane.    Ag  to  the  propriety 
of  this  title,  it  has  been  already  seen,  that  the  tauriform 
god,  of  the  continental  Celtae,  was  styled  Tri-garanos,  from 
the  circumstance  of  his  carrying  three  cranes ;  and  I  may 
add,  that  Mr.  Bryant  has  remarked  the  same  symbolical  bird, 
in  the  HeHo-arkite  superstition  of  other  nations.  The  Egyp- 
tian crane,  Abis  or  Ibis,  he  tells  us,  for  its  great  services  to 
mankind,  was  held  in  high  honour,  being  sacred  to  the  god 
of  light.     He  adds  that  Geranos,  the  Greek  name  of  this 
bird,  was  a  title  of  the  sun  himself,  and  that  the  priest  of 
Cybele,  the  same  character  as  our  Ceridwen,  was  styled 
Camas,  which  was  a  title  of  the  deity  whom  he  sei-ved,  and 
of  the  same  purport  as  the  former,  f 

-The  names  Gwyddnaw  and  Garanhir  appear,  therefore, 
to  have  had  a  marked  reference  -to  Arkite  superstition,  and 
to  the  character  of  Ceres,  or  Cybele. 

But,    as   the   mythological  personages  of  the  Britons, 

*  Mai  ymsawdd  jn  llyn  lieb  Navo 

W.  Archaiol.  p.  27. 
Myned  e  Fenai  cyn  ni'm  bu  Naw- 

Ibid.  p.  159. 

t  See  Analysis,  V.  I.  p.  47.  ' 

V  we  advert  to  the  natural  history  of  the  crane,  he  is  an  aquatic  bird,  and  a 
great  fisher ;  so  Gwyddnaw  was  a  Vilwiian  priest,  aud  afisher  of  men. 


thougTi  few  in  1-eality,  are  honoured  with  a  multiplicity  of 
titles,  importing  the  various  functions  which  they  filled,  or 
alluding  to  the  several  circumstances  of  their  history ;  so 
the  same  GwyddftaVv  is  distinguished  by  the  liairie  of  Dew- 
rarth  Wledig.  The  first  of  these  terms  implies  the  mightif 
bear,  and  k  nearly  synoriyitious  with  Arthnr,  the  mytholo- 
gical representative  of  the  patriarch:  whilst  Wledig  is  a 
title  of  such  eminent  dignity,  that  it  is  only  applied  to  so-« 
vereigns  of  tlie  highest'  order. 

Elphin,  the  sori  of  this  persofiage,  is  represented  as  having 
beeii  a  most  forlorn  and  unfortunate  character,  previous  to 
the  opening  of  the  coracle,  or  mystical  ark ;  but  afterwards 
he  became  illustrious.  As  the  preparation  of  the  cauldron 
was  designee^  for  the  beiiefit  of  Avagddu,  and  the  drawing  of 
the  wear,  for  that  of  Elphih,  and  as  these  mystical  rites  had 
a  mutual  coiinexion  and  dependence,  1  think  it  highly 
probable,  that  under  these  two  names,  we  have  a  description 
of  the  same  personage. 

The  mystical  poems  r'epreseiit  Maelgwn,  as  having  con- 
fined Elphin  in  a  strong  stone  tower.  This  may  be  mere 
mythology,  or  it  liiay  imply,  that  the  Venedotian  king  of 
that  name,  prohibited  some  of  the  heathenish  rites  of  the 

Be  this  a,s  it  may,  wfe  find  that  Taliesin,  the  great  presi- 
dent of  the  Bards,  devotes  himself  intirely  to  the  interest  of 
Elphin,  styles  him  his  sovereign,  and  drops  many  hints, 
which  evidently  place  him  in  the  connexion  of  the  British 
Ceres.  Thus — "  I  came  to  Tegaiiwy,  to  maintain  the  con- 
"  test  with  Maelgwn,  the  greatest  of  delinquents :  in  the 


"  presence  of  the  Distributor,  I  liberated  my  lord,  even 
"  Elphin,  the  sovereign  of  those  who  carry  ears  af  corn."* 

The  chief  of  the  Bards  seldom  assumes  the  character  of  a 
prophet,  without  adverting  to  this  great  atchieveDqent  of 
liberating  Elphin ;  it  was  his  most  brilliant  enterprize,  in 
which  he  was  assisted,  even  by  a  train  of  radiant  Seraphim. 
In  short,  he  always  speaks  of  this  act,  with  as  ipuch  self- 
importance,  as  if  he  were  delivering  an  oracle,  or  interpret- 
ing the  will  of  a  present  god. 

Taliesin  himself  was  honoured  with  a  title  of  the  sun :  he 
presided  in  Sidi,  which,  as  I  shall  shew  hereafter,  was 
a  type  of  the  Zodiac,  and  he  claimed  the  viceroyalty  of  the 
Britisli  island,  by  the  investiture  of  the  Helio-arkite  god, 
the  acknowledged  emperor  of  the  earth  and  seas.  We  may 
therefore  be  sure,  that  when  he  speaks  of  Elphin,  not  only 
as  his  Zort?,  but  as  the  sovereign  of  all  the  disciples  of  Dru- 
idism,  he  regarded  him,  as  in  some  sense,  identified  with 
that  splendid  divinity.  The  same  thing  may  be  inferred 
from  another  title  of  Elphin,  namely,  Rhuvawn  Bevyr,  he 
who  radiantly  shines  forth. 

The  son  of  Gwyddnaw,  distinguished  by  this  appellation, 
is  styled  Gwyndeym,  the  blessed  or  illustrious  sovereign.\ 
He  is  also  called  Eurgelain,  the  golden  body,  and  ranked 
with  Madawc  mab  Brwyn,  the  benificeM  son,  of  Sprigs,  and 
Ceugant  Beilliazeg,  searcher  of  certain  truth ;  two  ideal  per- 
sonages who  seem  to  have  presided  over  the  art  of  divination, 
of  oracular  mystery.    And  we  are  told,  <that  Elphin  had 

•  Appendix,  No.  1. 

t  W.  Arohiol,  V.  II.  p.  3  and  m. 


this  name,  because  he  was  tedeemed,  at  his  weight  in  g6l3, 
when  he  had  fallen  into  the  hand  of  the  enemy.* 

Hyioel,  the  son  of  Owen,  prince  of  North  Wales,  says  of 
this  personage- 
Ton  wen  orewyn  orwlych  bedd, 
Gwyddfa  Ruvawn  Bevyr,  Ben  Tieymedd'f 

"  The  white  wave,  with  its  foamy  edge,  sprinkles  the 
"  grave;  even  the  mount  of  .the  presence  of  Ehuvawa 
"  Bevyr,  the  chief  of  sovereigns." 


These  and  similar  titles^  which  the  Triads  and  niysticji 
Bards  confer  upon  Gwyddnaw  and  his  son,  are  surely  in- 
applicable to  the  lords  of  a  single  Cantred,  which  was  now 
lyii>g  in  the  bottom  of  Cardigan  bay.  Their  story  has  been 
misunderstood;  and  the  titles  which  primarily  belonged 
to  the  Helio-arkite  patriarch,  were  transferred  to  those 
priests  who  supplied  his  place,  in  certain  departments  of  the 
mystic  rites ;  and  particularly,  in  the  finishing  scene^  where 
the  truth  was  to  be  revealed. 

Here  the  noviciate  was  committed  to  the  sea,  which  repre- 
sented the  deluge,  in  a  close  cordch,  the  symbol  of  the  arh} 
and  after  the  example  of  the  just  patriarchy  was  to  be  saved 
from  this  image  of  the  flood,  at  Gwyddnaw's'  ©eor,  the  type 
of  the  mount  of  debarkation. 

This  wear,  I  conjecture,  from  its  marked  topography. 

•  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.' p.  15  and  69. 

+  Ibid.  v.  in. 



was  no  other  than  the  natural  causeway,  or  reef  of  rocks,  in 
Cardigan  bay,  which  the  Welsh  call  Sam  Badrig. 

With  these  ideas,  the  poems  ascribed  to  Gwyddnaw,  ex« 
actly  correspond.  They  seem  to  be  nothing  more  than  old 
songs,'  designed  to  be  chaunted  at  these  mystical  representa- 
tions; but  their  style  and  orthography  are  so  very  un- 
coutli,  tha;t  it  is  difficult  to  ascertain  the  meaning  of  some 

One  of  them  is  said  to  have  been  sung  at  the  time, 
when  the  sea  covered  the  land  of  Gwyddnaw.  It  con- 
tains an  imprecation  upon  some  damsel  who  poured  the  sea 
over  the  land. 

This  Nereid  or  Fury,  is  described  as— 

Fynnawn  wenestyr  mor  terwyn — 

*'  The  attendant  on  the  fountain  of  tlie  raging  sea."  The 
calamity,  as  usual,  is  ascrib^  to  the  prevalence  of  pride 
and  excess.  The  water  covers  the  plains.  They  call,  in  their 
extreme  distress,  upon  God,  who  had  provided  the  chait  of 
Kedazel,  the  Beneficent,  whichis  a  title  of  the  Arkite  god- 
dess, as  a  place  of  refuge.  Here  Gwyddnaw,  the  priest  of 
tht  ship,  confines  himself  in  his  chamber,  and  is  preserved 
from  the  calamity, 

The  subject  of  another  of  these  poems  is  a  contention, 
between  Gwyddnaw  and  Gwyn  ab  Nudd,  the  Demon-  who 
presided  over  Annwn,  the  deep,  or  abyss. 

I  shall  attempt  the  translation  of  another  ^tt^e  po^n, 
^.scribed  to  Gwyddnaw,  as  it  throws  considerable  light  upon 


bis  character  and  office.  It  is  evidently  a  formula  in  the 
celebration  of  the  mystical  rites.  It  pertains  to  the  cere- 
,  mony  of  inclosing  the  aspirant  in  the  coracle,  and  launching 
him  into  the  water,  as  described  in  Hams  Taliesin,  and  the 
reputed  author  supports  the  dignity  of  Hierophant. 

The  Probationer,  seeing  the  wear,  or  Sam  Badrig,  at  a 
prodigious  distance,  and  tremUing  at  the  thought  of  the 
perilous  adventure,  exclaims, 

"  Though  I  love  the  sea  beach,  I  dread  the  open  sea ;  a 
"  billow  inay  come,  undulating  over  the  stone," 

To  this,  the  solemn  Hierophant  replies — ' 

"  To  the  brave,  to  the  magnanimous,  to  the  amiable,  to 
"  the  generous,  who  boldly  embarks,  the  ascending  stone  of 
"  the  Bards  reill prove  the  harbour  of  life !  It  has  asserted  th& 
f.'  praise  of  Heilyn,  the  mysterious  impeller  of  the  sJttf; 
"  andj  till  the  doom  shall  its  symbol  be  continued'' 


"  Though  1  love  the  strand,  I  dread  the  ^ave :  great  has 
"  been  its  violence — dismal  t,he  overwhelming  stroke.  Even 
"  to  him  who  survives,  it  will  be  the  subject  of  lamen- 
"  tation." 


"  It  is  a  pleasant  act,  to  wash  on  the  bosem  of  the 
"  fair  water.  Though  it  fill  the  receptacle,  it  will  not 
"  disturb  the  heart.  My  associated  train  regard  not  its 
"  overwhelming. 

"  As  for  him  who  repented  of  his  enterprize,  the  lofty 


"  (wave)  has  hurried  the  babler  far  awTay  to  his  death  j 
"  but  the  brave/  the  magnanimous  will  find  his  cdmpensa- 
"  tion,  in  arriving  safe  at  the  stones.  The  conduct  ofiJiB 
"  water  will  declare  thy  merit." 

(The  Hieropliant  then  addresses  the  timid j  or  rejected  can- 

"  Thy  coming  without  external  purity,  is  a  pledge  that 
"  I  will  not  receive  thee. — Take  out  the  gloomy  one! — 
^'  From  my  territory  have  I  alienated  the  rueful  steed — my 
<'  revenge,  lipon  the  shoal  of  earth-worms,  is  their  hopeless 
*"  longing,  for  the  pleasant  allotment.  Out  of  the  recep- 
**  tacle  wliich  is   thy  aversion,  did  I  obtain  the  eain- 

*'    BOW."* 

This  little  piece  throws  more  light  upon  the  character  and 
office  of  Gwyddnaw,  than  half  a  volume  of  hypothetical 
reasoning  could  have  done. 

He  performs  that  Very  ceremony,  which  Hanes  Tdliesin 
ascribes  to  Ceridwenj  the  Arkite  goddess,  upon  the  imtiga, 
tion  of  her  husband.  He  was  then,  that  husband ;  or  he 
was  a  priest,  who  personally  represented  the  deified  patriarch: 
and  upon  certain  stated  daysy  exhibited  an  eniblem  of  the 
deluge,  by  turning  his  noviciates  a  drift  in  Cardigan  hay, 
At  the  mouth  of  the  Ystiisyth,  Styctuis,  or  Stys!,  of  the 
Druids,  and  in  covered  coracles>  which  were  manifest  sym- 
bols of  the  ark.  The  worthy  candidate  was  encouraged  to 
adventure  in  this  hardy  probation,  with  the  prospect  of 
being  fished  up  again  at  the  latiding  place  of  the  Bards, 
when  the  tide,  or  pretended  deluge  had  subsided. 

♦  W.  Archaiol,  p.  165. 


Gwyddnaw  and  his  assistants,  ought  to  have  been  wa)!  ac- 
quainted with  the  setting  of  the  currents,  though  it  be 
fairly  admitted,  that  occasionally,  they  made  a  sacrifice  to 
the  deep. 

The  doctrine  inculcated  by  this  perilous  ceremony,  is  suf- 
ficiently obvious.  The  same  superintending  providence, 
which  had  protected  the  magnanimous  and  amiable  patriarch, 
from  the  waters  of  the  deluge,  would  likewise  distinguish 
his  worthy  descendants ;  and  by  conducting  them  in  safety 
to  the  sacred  landing  place,  ascertain  their  due  admissioii 
to  the  privileges  of  the  Baidic  religion.  At  the  same  time, 
the  very  form  and  condition  of  this  ceremony  must  have  de- 
terred the  pusilanimous  candidate,  as  well  as  him  that  was 
conscious  of  secret  crimes. 

Fortunately,  this  was  the  last  hazardous  scene  in  the  ini- 
tiatory rites  of  the  Druids.  For  we  find,  that  as  soon  as 
Elphin  had  extricated  the  aspirant  from  his  coracle,  he  re- 
ceived him  in  his  arms,  gently  lifted  him  upon  his  steed,  or 
into  his  ship,  for  such  were  the  mythological  steeds  of  the 
Britons,  conducted  him  to. his  father,  and  acknowledged 
him  a  Complete  Bard  of  the  highest  order. 

The  old  Bards  speak  in  magnificent  terms,  of  the  benefits 
which  were  derived  from  these  mysterious  rites.  They  were 
viewed  as  most  important,  to  the  happiness  of  human  life. 
They  imparted  sacred  science  in  its  greatest  purity  and  per- 
fection ;  a,nd  he  who  had  completed  his  probation,  Mas 
called  Dedwydd,  one  zcho  has  recovered  intelligence,  or  rather, 
has  been  brought  back  into  the  presence.  It  is  nearly  equi- 
valent to  the  Greek  term,  Ettoot^k,  which  describes  a  person 
who  had  beeft  initiated  into  the  greater  mysteries. 


tlpon  this  subject,  the  little  poem  said  to  have  been  re-» 
cited  hy  Taliesin,  immediately  after  he  had  gone  through 
the  cqncluding  ceremony,  is  worthy  of  remark.  He  dcr 
scribes  himself  as  thrice  born,  that  is,  once  of  his  natural  pa- 
rent, once  of  Ceridwen,  and  lastly  of  the  mystical  coracle. 
As  a  consequence  of  this  regeneration,  he  knew  how  to 
think  rightly  of  God;  he  perceived  that  the  benefits  derived 
from  him  could  not  be  impeded.  All  the  sacred  science  of 
the  world  was  treasured  in  his  bosom ;  he  knew  all  that  had 
been,  and  all  that  would  be  hereafter. 

This  epilogue  to  the  mysteries  in  its  present  form,  has 
two  stanzas  more  than  what  I  have  translated :  in  one  of 
these,  the  Bard  acknowledges  a  Divine  Providence ;  but  h6 
introduces  a  christian  idea,  representing  the  son  of  Mary  a.t 
the  pledge  of  his  happiness. 

He  then  tells  us,  that  God,  the  true  Cresitor  of  heaven, 
with  whom  he  had  a  sure  refuge,  had  been  Kis  instructor, 
and  his  guardian,  and  that  he  would  finally  take  hiin  to 

Thus  the  author,  whoever  he  was,  mixes  his  Bardism 
with  some  reference  to  the  christian  system.  But,  as  his 
reflections  result  from  the  celebration  of  rites,  which  Were 
certainly  heathenish,  we  cannot  doiibt,  but  that  tli^y  Were 
of  the  same  kind  with  the  formula  which  had  been  usfed"by 
his  heathen  predecessors,  upon  the  same  occasion.  And 
how  exactly  his  sentiments,  making  allowance  for  his  chris- 
tian allusions,  corresponded  with  those  which  resulted  from 
the  mysteries  of  Ceres,  may  be  learned  from  thegreat 
Bishop  Warburton. 


iUs  lordship,  having  remaxkei  Jthe  divisloji  of  ^tlje  Eleii-' 
sinian  mysteries,  into  thje /e«s  ;a»4  the  gi-eater ;  and  having 
Btated,  that  in  the  former,  was  inculcated  the  general  be- 
lief of  a  Providelice,  and  a  future  state,  ^i^d  that  they  were 
only  preparatpry  to  the  greater — thus  proceeds — 

"  But  there  was  one  insuperable  obatacle  in  .paganism, 
"  to  a  life  of  purity  afld  holiness,  which  was  the  vicious 
"  exaiiq)les  of  their  gods." — '—"  There  was  ^  ixecessity 
"  therefore  of  remedying  this  evil,  which  could  only  be 
"  done  by  striking  at  the  root  of  it;  so  that  such  of  the 
"  initiated,  ias  were  judged  capable,  were  made  acquainted 
"  \yith  the  -w.bple  .delusiojj.  The  mystagogue  taught  them, 
*'  th?kt   Jupiter,   Mercury,    Venus,   Mars,   gnd    the   whole 

rab.Me  of  licentious  deities,  were  indeed,  .only  <?e«d  Twor- 
"  tals,  subject  in  life,  to  the  same  passions  glnd  vices  with 
"  themselves;  but  having  been,  in  several  instances  bene- 
"  factors  to  mankind,  grateful  posterity  had  deified  them ; 
"  and  with  their  virtues,  had  indiscreetly  canonized  their 
"  vices.  The  fabulous  gods  being  thus  routed,  the  supreme 
"  cauie  of  all  things  of  course,  took  their  place:  him 
"  they  were  taught  to  consider,  as  the  Creator  of  the  uni- 
"  verse,  who  pervaded  all  things  by  his  virtue,  and  go- 
"  verned  all  things  by  his  providence,  from  this  time,  the 
"  initiated  had  the  title  of  E'womTii;,  or,  one  that  sees  thhigs  as 
"  they  are,  mthout  disguise ;  whereas,  before  he  was  called 
"  Mvrm.,  which  hfis  a  contrary  signification."* 



*  Diriue  Legatira,  V,  I.  p.  14B. 


I  hav«  now  considered  the  whole  of  that  singular  story, 
called  Hanes  Talusin:  I  have  shewn,  that  it  relates  to  a 
succession  of  ceremonies,  by  which  the  ancient  Britons 
commemorated  the  history  of  the  deluge;  and  that  these 
ceremonies  had  a  constant  analogy  with  the  mystical  rites  of 
Ceres  and  Isis,  which  our  best  mythologists  regard  as  me- 
morials of  the  same  event. 

The  narrator  seems  to  have  abridged  his  tale  iteaa  a 
larger  history,  or  taradition,  to  which  be  refers;  and,  per- 
haps, he  has  added  a  few  touches  of  his  own.  But  the 
main  incidents  are  derived  from  the  gemiine  superstition  of 
the  Britons,  as  appears  by  several  passages  of  the  mystical 

Thus,  in  the  piece  which  immediately  follows  the  tale  in 
the  Welsh  Archaiology,  Taliesin  ;gives  tliis  account  of 

Kyntaf  i'm  Uuniwyd,  ar  lun  dyn  glwys^ 
Yn  llys  Ceridwen  a'm  penydiwys. 
Cyd  bum  bach  o'm  gwled,  gwyl  fy  nghynnwys; 
Oeddwn  fawr,  uwch  Uawr,  Han  a'm  tywys. 
Pryd  fum  parwyden,  per  Awen  parwys ; 
Ag  yngkyfraith,  heb  iaith,  a'm  ryddryJlwys 
Hen  Widdon  dduloh,  pan  hdiwys : 
Anghuriawl  ei  hawl,  ,pan  hwyliwys. 

<'  I  was  first  modelled  into  the  form  of  s.pure  man,  in 
"  the  hflll  of  Ceridwen,  who  subjected  me  to  penance. 
'-'  Though  sm&U  within  my  chest,  and  modest  in  my  de- 
"  portme^it,  I  was  great.  A  sanctuary  carried  me  ^ove  the 
"  surface  of  the  earth. 


"  Whilst  I  was  inclosed  within  its  ribs,  the  sweet  AwEiJ 
"  rendered  me  complete :  and  my  law,  without  audible  lan- 
"  guage,  was  imparted  to  me  by  the  old  giantess^  darkly 
"  smiling,  in  her  wrath ;  but  her  claim  was  not  regretted  when 
"  she  set  sail" 

The  Bard  then  enumerates  the  various  forms  whitji  he 
had  assumed,  in  order  to  elude  the  grasp  of  Ceridwen. 
These,  changes  do  not  seem  to  relate  to  the  Druidical  doc- 
trine of  transmigration;  they  rather  express  the  several 
characters,  under  which  the  aspirant  wsts  viewed  in  the  sue* 
cessive  stages  of  initiation* 

The  piece  concludes  thu^; 

FFdes  yn  ronyn  gwyn^  gwenith  Iwys; 

Ar  ael  lien  earthen  i'm  earfaglwys;  ' 

Cymmaint  oedd  ei  gweled,  a  chyfeb  RewyS^ 

A  fai  yn  Ileuwi,  fal  llong  ar  ddyfrwys ! 

Mewn  boly  tyw^yll  i'm  tywalltwys ; 

Mewn  mor  Dylan,  i'm  dychwelwys :: 

Bu  goelfain  i'm,  pan  i'm  cain  -fygwys ; 

Duw  Arglwydd,  yn  rhydd,  a'm  rhyddhawys. 

"  I  fled  in  the  form  of  a  fair  grain  of  pure  wheat  :■  upon 
"  the  edge  of  a  covering  cloth,  she  caught  me  in  her 
"  fangff.  In  appearance,  she  was  as  large  as  a  prowd  mare, 
"  which  she  also  resembled — then  was  she  swelling  out,  like 
"  a  ship  upon  the  waters.  Into  a  dark  receptacle  she  cast 
"me.  She  carried  me  back  into  the  sea -of  Dylan.  It 
"  was  an  atispkious  omen  to  me,  when  she  happily  sufFo- 
"  cated'me.    God  the  Lord  freely  set  me  at  large." 

In  these  remarkable  lines,  the  Bard  treats  of  a  course  of 


penance,  discipline,  and  mystical  instruction,  which  had  con- 
tributed to  purify,  complete,  and  exalt  his  character,  and  to 
liberate  him  from  the  ills  of  mortality. 

These  mystical  lessons  must  have  consisted  in  scenical  or 
sj/w&oZica/ representation;  for  his  law  was  imparted  to  him, 
without  the  intervention  of  language. 

And  they  commenced  in  the  hall  of  Ceridwen,  who  is 
rfepresented  as  an  old  giantess,  as  a  hen,  as  a  mare,  and  as  a 
ship,  which  set  sail,  lifted  the  Bard  from  the  earth,  and 
swelled  out  like  a  ship  upon  the  waters.  It  was  also  a  sacred 
ship,  for  it  is  called  Llan,  a  sanctuary,  or  temple;  and  it 
was  the  Diluvian  ark,  for  it  inclosed  the  noviciate,  and  car- 
ried him  baclrfnto  the  sea  of  Dylan,  or  Noah.  Ceridwen 
was,  therefore,  what  Mr.  Bryant  pronounces  Ceres  to  have 
been,  the  genius  of  the  ark;  and  her  mystic  rites  repre- 
sented the  memorials  of  the  deluge. 

From  the  language  of  the  Bard,  it  should  seem  that  this 
goddess  was  represented  by  a  series  of  emblems,  each  of 
which  was  regarded  as  her  image:  or  else,  that  she  was 
depicted  under  one  compound  syinbolical  figure,  in  the 
same  manner  as  Diima  or  Hecate,  the  lunar  ark,  which  is 
described  by  the  author  of  the  Orphic  Argonautics,  as  hav- 
ing the  heads  of  a  dog,  a  horse,  and  a  Hon.* 

And  that  the  ancient  Britons  actually  did  pourtray  this 
character  in  the  grotesque  manner  suggested  by  our  Bard, 
appears  by  several  ancient  British  coins,  whei'e  we  find  a 
figure,  compounded  of  a  bird,  a  boat,  land  a  mare. 


•  Faber'a  ftlyst.  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.-280. 


It  may  be  thought  a  whimsical  conceit  in.  our  British 
Bard,  to  describe  his  Arkit^  goddess  imder  the  character  of 
a  mare.  But  Taliesin  is  still  classical.  Mr.  Bryant  takes 
notice,  that  Ceres  was  not  only  styled  Hippa,  the  mare,  but 
that  she  was  represented  as  having  been  changed  into  the 
form  of  that  animal.* 

The  same  learned  author  refers  to  the  patriarch  Noah, 
the  character  of  Dionusus,^  who  was  supposed  to  have 
been  twice  bom,  and  thence  was  styled  Ai^wij.  Sometimes 
the  intermediate  state  is  taken  into  account,  and  he  is  re- 
presented ^s  having  experienced  three  different  lives.  Here 
the  authority  of  the  Orphic  hymns  is  quoted,  in  which 
this  deity  has  the  titles  of  Tp^un?,  of  three  natures,  and  Tfiyowsj 
thrice  born.  Just  so,  we  have  heard  Taliesin,  in  the  poem 
before  us,  declare  —  Teirgwaith  a'm  ganed — Thrice  was  I 
bom.  The  last  birth  of  Dionusus,  adds  Mr.  Brj'ant,  was 
from  Hippa,  the  metre,  certainly  the  ark,  at  which  time 
nature  herself  was  renewed.^ 

That  the  representations  which  we  have  in  this  poem  of 
Taliesin,  are  authentically  derived  from  the  mythology  of 
the  heathen  Britons,  will  not  admit  of  a  reasonable  doubt. 
What  Bard  of  the  sixth  century,  unless  he  were  conducted 
by  such  a  genuine  clue,  could  have  traced  the  connexion 
between  the  character  of  Ceres,  under  the  strange  symbol 
of  a  mare,  and  the  vessel  of  the  Diluvian  patriarch  ?  What 
scholar,  in  modem  and  enlightened  times,  could  have  de- 
veloped the  system  which  our  Bard  supports,  before  the 

•  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  27,  &c. 
t  tbid.  p.  77  and  274. 
i  Ibid,  p.  410. 


genius  and  erudition  of  Mr.  Bryant  demonstrated,  that 
Ceres  or  Isis  was  in  reality  a  female  character,  supposed  to 
preside  over  the  ark,  arid  that  the  mare  was  a  symbol  of 
this  goddess  ? 

The  same  connexion  between  the  history  of  the  deluge, 
and  the  character  of  Ceridweri,  represented  as  a  hen,  appears 
in  other  ancient  poems,  so  as  to  authenticate  the  incidents 
of  Hanes  Taliesin.  Thus  the  president  of  the  Bards,  having 
enumerated  several  of  his  mystical  transmigrations,  proceeds 
in  this  strain.— 

"  I  have  been  a  grain  of  the  Arhites,  which  vegetated 
"  upon .  a  hiU :  and  then  the  reaper  placed  me  in  a  smoky 
"  recess,  that  I  might  be  compelled  freely  to  yield  my  corn, 
"  when  subjected  to  tribulation.  I  was  received  by  the  hen 
"  with  red  fangs,  and  a  divided  crest.  I  remained  nine 
"  nights,  an  infant  in  her  womb.  I  have  been  Aedd,  re- 
"  turning  to  my  former  state — I  have  died,  I  have  re- 
"  vived — Again  was  I  instructed  by  the  cherisher  (hen), 
"  with  red  fangs .■^  Of  what  she  gave  me,  scarcely  can  I 
"  express  the  great  praise  that  is  due.  I  am  now  Taliesin. 
"  I  will  compose  a  just  string,  which  shall  remain  to  the  end 
"  of  time,  as  a  chief  model  of  Elphin."  * 

The  reaper,  mentioned  in  this  passage,  is  Tegid,  Gm/dd- 
naw,  or  Seithwedd  Saidi,  a  character  referable  to  Noah, 
the  great  husbandman,  and  the  same  at  Saturn,  who  is  fur- 
nished with  a  sickle,  or  scythe. 

The  period  of  the  aspirant's  imprisonment  in  the  womb 

s  2 

•  Appendix,  No.  13, 


of  Ceridwen,  is  variously  represented.  Here,  it  is  limited 
to  nine  nights;  but  elsewhere,  we  are  told,  it  was  nine 

Mi  a  fum  naw  mis  hayach, 
Ym  mol  Geridwen  Wrach : 
Mi  a  fum  gynt  Wion  bach ; 
Taliesin  ydwy  bellach.* 

"  I  have  been,  for  the  space  of  nine  months,  in  the  belly 
"  of  Ceridwen  the  Fury :  I  was  formerly  Gwion  the  Little ; 
"  henceforth  I  am  Taliesin." 

Amongst  the  ancient  poems  relative  to  this  mystical  per- 
sonage, I  must  distinguish  onej  which  is  entitled  Cadair 
Ceridwen  ;f  in  which  she  is  brought  forward  to  speak  for 
herself:  or  rather,  her  minister  and  representative  speaks  in 
her  name,  and  touches  upon  some  curious  topics  of  hex 
history.    The  piece  begins  thus.  % 

Rheen  rym  awyr !  tithau 
Cereifant  o'm  correddeu : 
Yn  newaint,  ym  mhlygeineu, 
Llewychawd  yn  lleufereu. 
Mynawg  hoedl,  Minawg  ap  Lieu, 
A  welais  i  yma  gynneu  ; 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  19. 
t  TliB  chair  of  Ceridwen. 
t  W.  Aichiuol,  p.  66. 


Diwedd  yn  Uechwedd  Lieu : 
Bu  gwrdd  ei  hwrdd  ynghadeu. 

"  Sovereign  of  the  power  of  the  air !  even  thou  puttest  an 
"  end  to  my  wanderings.  In  the  dead  of  night,  and  at  the 
"  dawns,  have  our  lights  been  shining  Decreed  is  the  con- 
"  tinuance  of  life  to  Minawc,  the  son  of  Lieu,  whom  I  saw 
"  here  awhile  ago,  and  for  the  last  time,  upon  the  slope  of 
"  the  hill  of  Lieu :  dreadfully  has  he  been  assaulted  in  the 
"  conflicts." 

The  sovereign  of  the  power  of  the  air  seems  to  be  the 
same  character  as  Heilyn,  the  most  mysterious  impeller  of 
the  sky,  mentioned  va.  the  poem  of  Gwyddnaw.  By  this 
title,  it  might  be  thought  that  the  Bards  meant  to  describe 
the  Supreme- Being,  who  put  an  end  to  the  calamity  of  the 
deluge :  but  I  observe,  that  in  the  poem,  called  the  Chair 
of  Teym  On,*  Apollo,  or  the  solar  divinity,  is  styled, 
Heilyn  Pasgadwr — Heilyn  the  Feftder. 

As  the  ark  had  wandered  upon  the  surface  of  the  waters, 
so  Ceres,  the  genius  of  the  ark,  is  represented  as  having 
lighted  torches,  and  wandered  over  the  whole  earth  in  search 
of  her  daughter,  who  had  been  carried  away  by  the  king  of 
the  deep.  To  these  torches,  or  to  those  which  were  carried 
in  the  celebration  of  the  nocturnal  mysteries,  and  in  com- 
memoration of  the  state  of  darkness,  in  which  the  patriarch 
and  his  family  had  been  involved,-f  we  have  a  manifest  allu- 
sion in  the  verses  before  us. 

Minawc,  the  son  of  Lieu,  to  whom  a  continuance  of  life 

*  Appendix,  No.  4. 
'  +  Bryant's  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  331, 


had  been  decreed,  and  who  Had  taken  his  departure  from  the 
AEK,  upon  the  slope  of  the  hill,  was  clearly  a  representative 
of  the  patriarch  Noah.  And  his  British  title  seems  to  have 
had  more  than  an  accidental  similarity  to  one  which  was 
conferred  upon  him  by  other  heathens. 

Mr.  Bryant  tells  us,  that  Meen,  Menes,  Menon,  and  the 
like,  were  titles  by  which  the  Deus  Lunus,  that  is  Noah, 
was  distinguished  in  different  countries  :  *  that  the  votaries 
of  the  patriarch,  who  was  called  Meen  and  •  Menes,  were 
styled  Miny<z ;  which  name  was  given  them,  from  the  ob- 
ject of  their  worship ;  f  that  the  Menai,  in  Sicily,  were 
situated  upon  the  river  Menais;  that  they  had  traditions  of 
a  deluge,  and  a  notion  that  Deucalion  was  saved  upon 
Mount  iEtna,  near  which  was  the  city  Noa;  that  there 
were  of  old  Minya  in  Elis,  upon  the  river  Mint/as;  and 
that  the  chief  title  of  the  Argonauts  was  that  of  Minya.  j 

It  is  a  remarkable  coincidence,  that  the  same  patriarch 
was  worshipped  by  the  name  of  Minauc,  in  the  island  Mono, 
and  upon  the  river  Menai. 

It  may  also  deserve  notice,  that  the  sentimental  picture 
exhibited  in  this  British  passage,  has  a  striking  coincidence 
with  the  concluding  ceremonies  in  the  nocturnal  m^'steries 
of  the  just  person,  and  those  of  the  Arkite  Athene,  men- 
tioned in  the  Orphic  Argonautics,  and  thus  described  by 
Mr.  Bryant.] 

"  By  A^emn  aS)iwj  was  meant  Arkite  providence;  in  other 

*  Analys.  Y.  II.  p.  309. 
,  t  Ibid.  p.  24S. 
i  Ibid.  p.  510. 

•^  words,  divine  wisdom,  by  which  the  world  was  preserved, 
*'  In  these  mysteries,  after  the  people  had  for  a  long  time 
"  bewailed  the  loss  of  a  particular  person,  he  was  at  -length 
"  supposed  to  be  restored  to  life.  Upon  this,  the  priest 
"  used  to  address  the  people  in  these  memorable  Ijerms. 
"  Comfort  yourselves,  all  ye  who  have  been  partakers  of  the 
"  mysteries ,  of  the  Deity,  thus  preserved:  for  we  shall  now 
"  enjoy  some  respite  from  our  labours."  To  these  were  added 
"  the  following  remarkable  words — I  have  escaped  a  great 
"  calamity,  and  my  lot  is  greatly  mended  "  * 

Ceridwen  thus  proceeds. 

Afagddu,  fy  mab  inneu, 
Dedwydd  Pofydd  rhwy  goreu  : 
Ynghyf  amryson  kerddeu, 
Oedd  gwell  ei  synwyr  no'r  fau : 
Celfyddaf  gwr  a  gigleu. 
Gwydion  ap  Don,  dygnfertheu, 
A  hiidwys  gwraig  o  flodeu : 
A  dyddwg  moch  o  ddeheu 
(Can  ni  bu  iddaw  disgoreu) 
Drud  ymyd,  a  gwryd  pletheu : 
A  rhithwys  gorwyddawd,  y  ar  plagawd  lys, 
Ac  enwerys  cyfrwyeu. 

"  As  to  Avagddu,  my  own  son,  the  c^-recting  god  formed 
"  him  anew  fol-  happiness.  In  the  contention  of  mysteries, 
"  his  wisdom  has  exceeded  mine.  The  most  accomplished 
"  of  beings  is  he. 

"  Gwydion,  the  son  of  Don,  by  his  exquisite  art,  charmed 

Analysis,  V.  II,  p.  333. 


'  forth  a  woman  composed  of  flowers;  and  early  did  Tie 
"  conduct  to  the  right  side  (as  he  wanted  a  protecting 
"  rampart)  the  bold  curties,  and  the  mrtue  of  the  various 
"  folds :  and  he  formed  a  steed  upon  the  springing  plants, 
"  with  illustrious  trappings." 

Ceridwen,  having  spoken  of  the  coiiclusion  of  her  wan- 
derings,  and  the  continuance  of  life,  which  was  decreed  to 
Minauc,  adverts  to  the  Jtistory  of  Avagddu,  utter  darkness, 
or  black  accumulatiort,',  her  late  unfortunate  son.  He  was 
now  hecome  Dedwydd,  or  Eroo'orT));,  and  formed  for  happiness. 
This  felicity  he  seems  to  have  attained  by  means  of  the  lady, 
whom  Gwydion  composed  of  flowers,  adorned  with  the 
bold  curves  and  various  folds,  and  graced  with  a  stately  steed. 
This  personage  could  have  been  no  other  than  the  Genius 
of  the  Rainbow,  whom  we  shall  presently  find  introduced 
by  her  proper  name,  and  whose  province  it  was  to  constitute 
a  protecting  fence. 


Gwydion,  ihe  son  of  Don,  is  a  great  agent  in  these  mys- 
tical poems.  In  another  piece  of  Taliesin's,*  we  find  him 
counselling  Hu,  or  Aeddon,  the  patriarch,  to  impress  the 
front  of  his  shield  with  an  irresistible  form,  by  means  of 
which,  both  he  and  his  chosen  rank,  triumphed  over  the 
demon  of  the  waters. 

This  Gwydion  ab  Don,  was  the  same  character  as  Mercury 
the  son  of  Jove,  or  Hermes,  the  counsellor  of  Cronus  or 
Saturn,  mentioned  in  the  fragment  of  Sanchoniathon. 

»  Appendix,  No.  10. 


Ceridwen,  in  the  next  place,  touches  upon  her  own  en- 
«iowments  and  privileges. — 

Pan  farmer  y  cadeiriau, 
Arbennig  uddun  y  fau,: 
Fynghadair,  a'm  pair,  a'm  deddfon, 
A'm,  araith  drwyadJ,  gadair  gysson. 
Rym  gelwir  gyfrwys,  yn  llys  Don — 
Mi,  ag  Euronwy  ag  Euron, 

"  When  the  iherit  of  the  presidencies  shall  be  adjudged, 
"  mine  will  be  found  the  superior  amongst  them — my  chair, 
"  my  cauldron,  •  and  my  laws,  and  my  pervading  eloquence^ 
"  meet  for  the  '^resid^ncy.  I  am  accounted  skilful  in 
"  the  court  of  Don  (Jove)  and  with  me,  Euronwy  and 
«  Euron." 

The  cauldron  of  Ceridwen  has  -  already  engaged  our  no- 
tice. Her  chair  or  presidency,  must  imply  her  sanctuary, 
'together  with  its  due  establishment,  and  all  the  rites  and 
laws  pertaining  to  it.  She  here  speaks  of  those  laws,  and 
Taliesin  has  told  us,  in  a  passage  which  I  have  produced, 
that  without  audible  language,  she  had  imparted  to  him 
the  lazes  by  which  he  was  to  be  governed. 

It  must  be  recollected,  that  Ceres  and  Isis  were  esteemed, 
and  styled  lawgimrs. 

The  poem  concludes  thus —     ' 

Gweleis  ymladd  taer,  yn  Nant  Ffrancon, 
Duw  Sul,  pryd  plygeint, 
Rhwng  Wythaint  a  Gwydion. 
Pyfieu,  yn  geugant,  ydd  aethant  Pon, 


I  geissaw  yscut,  a  hudolion. 
Arianrhod,  drem  clod,  a  gwawr  hinon, 
Mwyaf  gwarth  y  marth,  o  barth  Brython, 
Dybrys  am  ei  lys,  Enfys  Avon : 
Afon  a'i  hechrys  gui-ys,  gwrth  terra. 
Gwenwyn  ei  chynbyd,  cylch  byd,  eda. 
Nid  wy  dywaid  geu  llyfreu  Breda : 
Cadair  Gedwidedd  yssydd  yma ; 
A,  hyd  frawd,  parawd  yn  Europa. 

"  I  saw  a  fierce  conflict  in  the  vale  of  Beaver,  on  the  day 
"  of  the  Sun,  at  the  hour  of  dawn,  between  the  birds  of 
*'  Wrath  and  Gwydion.  On  the  day  of  Jove,  they  (the 
"  birds  of  Wrath)  securely  went  to  Mona,  to  demand  a 
"  sudden  sho&er  of  the  sorcerers :  but  the  goddess  of  the  sil~ 
"  ver  wheel,  of  auspicious  mien,  the  dawn  of  serenity,  the 
"  greatest  restrainer  of  sadness,  in  behalf  of  the  Britons, 
"  speedily  throws  round  his  hall,  the  stream  of  the  Rainbow, 
"  a  stream  which  scares  away  violence  from  the  earth,  and 
"  causes  the  bane  of  its  former  state,  round  the  circle  of  the 
"  world  to  subside.  The  books  of  the  Ruler  of  the  Mount, 
"  record  no  falshood.  The  Chair  of  the  Preserver*  remains 
"  here;  and  till  the  doom,  shall  it  continue  in  Europe." 

I  would  recommend  the  whole  of  this  passage  to  the  at- 
tention of  the  learned,  as  a  subject  of  impoitartce  in  British 

*  The  original  word  may  he  a  compound  of  Kid,  the  Arkite  goddessi  and 
Gwid,  a  whirl,  or  revolution.  Thus  Cynddelu  says  of  himself,  and  his  Bardic 
fraternity — — ' 

Gwyr  a'n  cydberchid  uch  gwtd  gwenen. 

"  We  are  men  who  have  been  mutually  honoured  over  the  vrhirl  of  the 
"  white  stream." — Alluding' to  their  initiation  into  Arkite  mysteries. 

See  Owen's  Diet.  V.  Guild. 


antiquities.  It  fiirnishes  a  proof,  beyond  doubt  or  contra- 
diction, of  the  establishment  of  Arkite  memorials  in  this 
island,  and  sets  forth  to  view  some  singular  traits  of  British 
tradition,  upon  the  subject  of  the  deluge. 

In  the  first  place,  Ceridwen,  the  Arh,  witnesses  a  fierce 
conflict  in  the  vale  of  the  Beaver.  That  animal,  under  the 
name  of  Avanc,  is  constantly  introduced  into  the  British 
account  of  the  deluge;  and  .the  dra\ying  of  him  out  of  the 
lake,  as  we  have  already  seen,  is  represented  as  a  great  act, 
which  was  conducive  to  the  removing  of  that  calamity. 
Our  ancestors  seem  to  have  regarded  the  Beaver  as  an  em- 
tlem  of  the  patriarch  himself.  To  this  symbolical  honour, 
this  creature  may  have  been  promoted,  by  a  peculiarity  in 
his  natural  history.  The  patriarch  had  built  himself  a  vessel 
or  house,  in  which  he  had  lived  in  the  midst  of  the  waters ; 
and  which  had  deposited  that  venerable  personage  and  his 
faijiily,  safe  upon  dry  ground.  So  the  Beaver  is  not  only 
an  amphibious  animal,  but  also  a  distinguished  architect. 
He  is  said  to  build  a  house  of  two  stories,  one  of  which  is 
in  the  water,  and  the  other  above  the  water ;  and  out  of  the 
fetter,  he  has  an  egress  to  dry  ground.  The  fanciful  genius 
of  heathenism  could  not  have  demanded  or  discovered  a 
more  happy  coincidence,  with  the  history  of  the  Diluvian 

The  conflict  here  mentioned,  was  between  Gzeydion,  the 
great  agent  in  the  preservation  of  mankind,  and  the 
Gwythaint,  some  feign  J,  winged  creatures,  which  derive 
their  name  from  Gwyth,  Wrath,  or  Fury.  These  may  be 
considered  as  the  ministers  of  wrath,  or  the  demons  of  de- 
struction, let  loose  at  the  deluge.  When  foiled  by  Gwydion 
or  Hermes,  they  are  represented  as  hastening  to  Mona,  to 
procure  assistance  of  certain  sorcerers.     These  were,  un- 


doubtedly  the  same,  which  are  introduced  in  Taliesin's  elegy, 
upon  the  priest  of  Mona,*  by  the  names  of  Math  and 
'Eunydd,  and  described,  as  introducing  the  confusion  of 
nature,  at  the  deluge. 

Math  ag  Eunydd,  hudwydd  gelfydd 
Rydd  elfinor. 

"  Math  and  Eunydd.,  masters  of  the  magic  wand,  let 
"  loose  the  elements." 

From  these  agents  of  desolation,  the  birds  of  wrath  now 
demand  a  sudden  shower,  evidently  for  the  purpose  of  pro- 
ducing a  second  deluge,  that  they  might  triumph  over 

This  new  calamity  was  prevented  by  Arianrod,  the  god- 
dess of  the  silver  wheel,  whom  Gwydion  produced  from  a 
combination  of  flowers.  This  lady,  who  was  the  dimn  of 
serenity,  poured  fourth  the  stream  of  the  rainbow ;  a  stream, 
which  not  only  scared  away  violence  from  the  earth,  but  also 
removed  the  bane,  or  poison  of  the  deluge,  to  which  the 
mystical  bards  have  frequent  allusions. 


This  representation  is  clearly  derived  from  the  history  of 
Noah,  and  of  the  bow  in  the  cloud,  that  sacred  token  of  the 
covenant  which  God  made  with  man,  and  of  the  promise, 
that  the  waters  should  no  more  become  a  food  to  destroy 
all  flesh.  But  the  incidents  which  this  poem  blends  with 
the  truth  of  sacred  history,    furnish  a  convincing  proof, 

Appendix,  No.  10. 


that  the  Bardic  account  was  derived  through  the  channel  of 
heathenism.  I 

In  the  conclusion,  we  are  told,  that  the  Chair  or  presi- 
dency of  the  Preserver,  namely,  Ceridwen,  was  established 
here,  and  so  firmly,  that  it  is  confidently  added,  it  should 
continue  to  the  end  of  time. 

This  poem  was  evidently  intended  to  be  sung  or  recited, 
in  the  ceremonies  of  a  heathen  solemnity,  by  a  priest  or 
priestess,  who  ■personated  Ceridwen;  but  some  paltry  and 
mendicant  minstrel,  who  only  chaunted  it  as  an  old  song, 
has  tacked  on  three  lines,  in  a  style  and  measure,  totally 
different  !from  the  preceding  verses. — 

An  rhothwy  y  Drindawd 
Trugaredd  Dyddbrawd — 
Cein  gardawd  gan  wyrda ! 

"  May  the  Trinity  grant  us  mercy  in  the  day  of  judg- 
"  ment ! A  liberal  donation,  good  gentlemen !" 

Tlie  old  poem,  called  the  Chair  of  Taliesin,  furnishes  a 
long  list  of  the  various  apparatus,  requisite  for  the  due  ce- 
lebration of  the  feast  of  Ceridwen :  and  particularly,  enu- 
merates several  of  the  ingredients  of  the  mystical  cauldron. 

As  the  curious  might  wish  to  compare  this  British  ac- 
count, with  the  hints  which  ancient  authors  have  thrown 
out,  respecting  the  superstition  of  tlie  Druids,  and  with 


what  has  been  recorded  of  the  mystical  rites  of  other  coun- 
tries ;  I  shall  insert  the  whole  of  this  obscure  piece,  with 
the  best  translation,  and  explanatory  notes  which  I  can 

We  here  find  the  character  of  the  Arkite  goddess  identi- 
fied with  that  of  the  Moon.  Of  this  circumstance,  I  have 
already  taken  some  notice,  and  have  shewn,  from  Mr. 
Bryant  and  Mr.  Faber,  that  such  confusion  of  characters 
was  not  peculiar  to  British  mythology. 


Mydwyf  merwerydd 
Molawd  Duw  Dofydd, 
Llwrw  cyfranc  cewydd 
Cyfi-eu  dyfnwedydd. 
Bardd,  bron  Syvvedydd, 
Ban  adleferydd 
Awen  Cudd  Echwydd 
Ar  feinoeth  feinydd. 

Beirdd  Uafar  Hue  do, 
Eu  gwawd  nym  gre 
Ar  ystrawd  ar  ystre : 
Ysti-yw  mawr  mire. 

Ac  mi  wyf  cerdd  fud 
Gogyfarch  feirdd  tud : 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  ST. 


Rydebrwyddaf  drud ; 
Kytalmaf  ehud ; 
Ryddyhunaf  dremud — 
Teyrn  terwyu  wolud. 

Nid  mi  wyf  cerdd  fas 
Gogyfarch  feirdd  tras 
Bath  fadawl  iddas — • 
Dofn  eigiawn  addas ! 

"  I  am  he  who  annimates  the  fire,  to  the  honour  of  the 
"  god  Dovijdd,  in  behalf  of  the  assembly  of  associates,  qua- 
"  lified  to  treat  of  mysteries — a  Bard,  with  the  knowledge 
"  of  a  Sywedydd,  when  he  deliberately  recites  the  inspired 
"  song  of  the  Western  Cudd,  on  a  serene  night  amongst 
**  the  stones. 

*'  As  to  loc[uacious,  glittering  bards,  their  encomium 
"  attracts  me  not,  when  moving  in  the  course :  admiration 
*'  is  their  great  object. 

"  And  I  am  a  silent  proficient,  who  address  the  Bards 
"  of  the  land :  it  is  mine  to  animate  the  hero ;  to  persuade 
"  the  unadvised ;  to  awaken  the  silent  beholder — the  bold 
*'  illuminator  of  kings  !      ' 

"  I  am  no  shallow  artist,  greeting  the  Bards  of  a  house- 
"  hold,  hke  a  subtle  parasite the,  ockan  has  a  due 

These  lines  are  merely  prefatory.  As  the  Bard  lived  in 
an  age  when  Druidism  was  upon  the  decline,  he  found  it 
expedient  to  assert  the  importance  of  his  own  pontifical 

character  as  distinguished  from  the  mere  poet,  and  even 
from  the  Bard  of  the  household,  who  was  an  officer  of  no 
mean  rank,  in  the  British  court,  as  we  learn  from  the  laws 
of  Howel.  It  was  his  privilege  to  be  entertained  at  the 
king's  table,  to  be  endowed  with  free  land,  to  have  hisr 
wardrobe  furnished,  and  his  steed  provided  at  the  king's  ex- 
pence;  yet,  he  was  to  give  place  to  the  Cathedral  Bard, 
or  priest,  of  the  ancient  national  order. 

Though  I  must  leave  several  things  in  this  poem  unex- 
plained, it  may  seem  proper  to  take  notice  of  other  particu- 
lars, and  throw  what  light  I  can  upon  them. 

Merwerydd,  in  the  first  line,  comes  immMarwor,  embers^ 
or  hot  coals.  It  seems  to  have  denoted  a  person  who  had 
the  charge  of  keeping  up  a  fire.  The  term  at  present,  im- 
plies that  kind  of  madness  or  enthusiasm,  which  we  suppose 
to  have  possessed  the  heathen  prophets.  Dovydd  (line  2) 
is  literally,  the  Tamer,  Domitor.  Cewydd,  in  the  next  hne^ 
an  associate,  from  Caw,  a  bandor  circumscription.  Hence 
Prydain,  Dyvnwal,  and  Bran  are  styled  Ban-Cewyddion 
Teyrnedd,  consolidating  sovereigns*  Sywedydd  (line  5)  a 
mystagogue,  or  revealer  of  mysteries.  Ys-yw-wedydd,  a  de- 
clarer of  what  is.  We  find  Syw,  pi.  Sywed,  and  Sywion,  in 
the  same  sense.  Cudd,  (line  7)  the  dark  repository — the 

To  proceed  with  our  Bard — 

Pwy  amlenwis  c^s 
Camp  ymhob  noethas 
Pan  yw  Dien  gwhth 
A  Had  gwenith 

*  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  63. 

3  *   ^  ! 


A  gwlid  gwenyn 
A  glud  ac  ystor 
Ac  flyvf-  tramor  ^ 

Ac^urbibeu  Lieu 
A  lion  aiiant  gwiw 
A  rhudd  em  a  grawa 
Ag  ewyn  eigiawn 
Py  ddyfrys  fFynna^vn  , 
Beiwr  byr  yr  ddawn 
Py  gysswUt-gwerin "^  ;  ,-  . ' 
,  Brecci  bon^dd'llya  • 

A  Uwyth  Lloer  wehyn 
!)'^;'^,/,  Lleddf  Honed  Verbyn. 

*'  The  man  of!  coiiiplete  ,^scipiirie  has  obtained  the  meed 
"  of  honour,  in  every  nightly-  celebration,  when  D'ien  is  pro- 
"  pitiated  with  an  offering  of  wheat,  and  the  suavity  of  bees* 
"  and  incense  and  myrrh,  and  aloes,  from  heyond  the  seas, 
"  and  the  gold  pipes  of  Lieu,  and  cheerful,  precious,  silver, 
"  and  the  ruddy  gem,  and  the  berries,  and  the  foam  of 
"  the  ocean,  and  cresses  of  a  purifying  quality,  laved  in  the 
**  fountain,  and  ^  joint  contribution  of  wort,  the  founder  of 
"  liquor,  supplied  by  the  assembly,  and  a^aised  load  se* 
"  eluded  from  the  moon,  of  placid,  cheerful  Vervain." 

This  passage,  without  an  atom  of  poetical  merit,  and 
consisting  of  a  mere  list  of  trifles,  derives  some  importance, 
from  the  high  consideration  which  those  trifles  once  ob- 
tained in  our  native  country.  Upon  this  score,  I  would 
ground  my  apology  for  lengthening  the  paragraph,  withi 
some  attempts  at  elucidation. 

'Noe^Aas,  (line  24)  a  mighty  solemnity ;  from  the  old  term 



}foeih,  the  night:  whence  we  have  He-noeth,  this  night i 
Mei-noeth,  a  serene  night,  or  May-etel  Peu-noeth,  every 
night,  and  Tra-noeth,  the  morrow,  or  beyond  the  night: 
Noethas  also  implies  an  unveiling,  or  uncovering ;  and  the 
priest  of  Ceridwen,  or  the  moon,  may  have  selected  this 
term,  .either  because  the  night  disclosed  the  object  of  his 
veneration,  or  because  heR  mysteries  w^re  unveiled  only  in 
the  night. 

In  my  translation  of  the  25th  line,  1  have  rendered 
Gwlith,  as  a  verb,  to  attract,  to  persuade  gently,  to  propi- 
Hate.  It  had  such  a  meaning  formerly ;  hence  we  read  in 
tlie  Gododin,  Qwlith  Eryr,  the  eagles  allurer.*  Gwlith,  in 
the  modern  Welsh,  only  means  dew ;  and  the  line  might  be 
rendered  tehen  the  Divine  dew  descends;  but  the  context 
seems  to  require  the  meaning  which  I  have  given  to  it,  and 
in  rendering  particular  passages  in  poems,  which  relate  to 
the  Druidical  superstition,  and  which  have  been  obscure 
for  a  thousand  years,  it  is  necessary  to  keep  in  view  the  ge- 
neral subject,  and  to  compare  part  with  part. 

Llad,  (line  26)  a  benefit,  gift  or  offering:  in  thfe  printed 
copy,  the  orthography  is  improperly  modernized  into  Lladd, 
to  cut,  reap,  or  mow.  The  Bridllu,  or  pnmwses,  mentioned 
in  a  subsequent  line,  were  not  to  be  procured  at  the  season 
of  cuttins  wheatw 


Gwlid  or  Gwlyddy  (line  27)  I  am  n6t  certain  whether  he 
means  honey,  or  the  plant  Samolus,  which  was  called 
Gwlydd;  but  I  rather '  think,  the  latter  is  here  intended. 
Dr.  Borlase  remarks,  that  "  the  Druids  experienced  great 

*  Song  11.    S«e  tlic  enstting  Section. 


**  virtue  in,  or  at  least,  ascribed  it  to  the  Samolus,  and 

**  gathered  it  in  a  ritual,  religious  manner.     He  that  was  to 

"  perforin  this  office  of  gathering  it,  was  to  do  it  fasting, 

"  with  his  left  hand,"  &c.* 

Aarhibeu,  (line  30)  the  mineral,  Orpiment,  is  so  called ; 
but  I  rather  think  the  gold  pipes  was  some  plant  with  a 
yellow  flower,  and  hollow  stem.  So  Ariant,  in  the  next 
line,  may  imply  the  Fluxwort,  which  is  called  Ariant  Gwion^ 
Gwion's  silver,  a  certain  proof  that  the  Druids  held  it  in 
esteem  5  for  Gmon  was  the  superintendant  of  the  mystical 

Em,  (line  30)  probably  the  red  gem,  or  bud  of  some  tree— 
Grawn,  (ib.)  the  wild  Nep,  or  nahite  vine,  is  called  Gravny 
Pertfa,  hedge  berries,  and  also  Eirin  Gwion,  the  Borues  of 
Gwion — see  the  last  note, 

Berwr,  (line  35)  Cresses.  The  Fabaria  is  called  Berwr 
ihliesiA,  Taliesin*s  cresses,  and  is  therefore,  the  plant  here 

Verhyn,  ^lin^  39)  Vervain.  In  the  British  Botanology, 
ihis  plant  has  also  the  following  appropriated  titles,  ex- 
jiressive  of  its  high  esteem  amongst  our  ancestors — Cds  gan 
dythraul,  the  Fiend's  atersion;  Y  Dderwen  Vendigaid,  the 
hlessedoak;  and  Llysiau'r  Hudol,  the  Inchanter's  plants. 

The  Druids,  we  are  told,  were  excessively  fond  of  the 
Vervain ;  they  used  it  in  casting  lots  and  foretelling  events. 

T  2 

•  Antq.sf  Cornwall,  B,  II.  C.  X9.— From  Pliti^. 


Anointing  with  this,  they  thought  the  readiest  way,  to  ob- 
tain all  that  the  heart  gould  desire,  to  keep  off  fevers,  to 
procure  friendships,  and  the  like.  It  was  to  he  gathered 
at  the  rise  of  the  dog  star,  without  being  looked  upon,  either 
hy  the  sun  or  moon.  In  order  to  which,  the  earth  was  to 
be  propitiated  by  a  libation  of  honey.  In  digging  it  up, 
the  left  hand  was  to  be  used.  It  was  then  to  be  waved 
aloft,  and  the  leaves,  stalk,  and  roots,  were  to  be  dried  se- 
parately in  the  shade.    ' 

The  couches  at  feasts,  were  sprinkled  with  water,  in 
which  this  plant  had  been  infused.* 

Most  of  the  ingredients  enumerated  in  this  passage, 
*eem  to  have  been  used  in  the  preparation  of  the  mystical 
cauldron ;  and  they  may  be  regarded  as  the  simples,  which 
Ceridwen  was  fabled  to  have  selected,  with  so  much  care  and 
ceremony. — But  let  us  go  on  with  the  catalogue. 

A  Sywion  synhwyr 
A  sewyd  am  Loer 
A  gofrwy  gwedd  gwyr 
Gwrth  awel  awyr 
A  mall  a  merin 
A  gwadawl  tra  merin 
^  A  chwrwg  gwydrin 
Ar  Haw  pererin 
A  phybyr  a  phyg 
Ag  urddawl  Segyrffyg 
A  llyseu  meddyg 
Lie  allwyr  Venffyg. 

•  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  B.  U.  C.  lS,-^p»nj  PliRy,  L.  XXV.  C.  9. 


*'  With  priests  of  intelligence,  to  officiate  in  tehalf  of 
"  the  moon,  and  the  concourse  of  associated  men,  under 
'^  the  open  breeze  of  the  sky,  with  the  maceration  and 
"  sprinkling,  and  the  portion  after  the  sprinkling,  and  the 
"  boat  of  glass  in  the  hand  of  the  stranger,  and  the  stout 
"  youth  with  pitch,  and  the  honoured  Segyrffyg,  and  me- 
'*  dical  plants,  from  an  exorcised  spot." 

The  boat  of  glass  .(line  46)  was  a  token  of  the  same  im- 
port as  the  Anguinum,  or  Glain,  as  I  have  already  remarked. 
In  the  second  volume  of  Mountfaucon's  Antiquities,*  there 
is  a  sculpture  which  illustrates  this  passage.  It  is  a  bass- 
relief,  found  at  Autun,  and  represents  the  chief  Druid, 
bearing  his  sceptre,  as  head  of  his  order,  and  crowned 
with  a  garland  of  oak  leaves ;  with  another  Druid,  not  thus 
decorated,  approaching  him,  and  displaying  in  his  right 
hand  a  crescent,  of  the  size  of  the  moon,  when  six  days 

The  pitch  (line  48)  was,  I  suppose,  for  the  facnla  or 
torches,  which  were  carried  during  the  celebration  of  the 
nocturnal  mysteries. 

Segt/rffug  means  protecting  from  illusion.  I  imagine  it 
was  the  name  of  some  plant.  The  populace  of  Wales  as- 
cribe the  virtue  implied  by  this  name,  to  a  species  of 

The  literal  translation  of  the  fiftieth  line,  is  a  place 
cleared  from  the  illusion  of  the  witch..   The  practice  of  exi 

'  Opposite  to  p.  its. 


6rcising  the  ground  was  common  to  the  Druids,  with  other 
ancient  priests.  The  iron  instrument  used  in  this  rite  of 
exorcising,  was  to  describe  a  circle  round  the  plant,  and 
then  dig  it  up.* 

The  piece  concludes  thus —  : 

A  Beirdd  a  blodeu 
A  guddig  bertheu 
A  briallu  a  briwddail 
A  blaen  gwydd  goddeu 
A  mall  ameuedd 
A  mynych  adneuedd 
A  gwin  tal  cibedd 
O  Ryfain  hyd  Ilossedd 
A  dvvfn  ddwfr  echwydd 
Pawn  ei  lif  Dofydd 
Neu  pren  puraur  fydd 
Ffrwythlawn  ei  gynnydd 
Rei  ias  berwidydd 
Oedd  uch  pair  pumwydd 
A  Gwion  afon 
A  gofwy  hinon 
A  mel  a  meillion 
A  meddgyrn  meddwon 
Addwyp  i  Pdragon 
I)da)vn  y  Derwyddon^ 

"  And  Bards  with  flowers,  and  perfect  convolutions,  and 
"  primroses,  and  leaves  of  the  Briw,  with  the  points  of 
"  the  trees  of  purposes,  and  solution  of  doubts,  and  fre- 

f  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  B.  11.  C.  IJ-^Fioia  ?Jbj. 


,r*  quent  mutual  pledges ;  and  with  wine  which  flows  to  the 
**  brim,  from  Rome  to  Rosedd,  and  deep  standing  water, 
."  a  flood  which  has  the  gift  of  Hovydd,  or  the  tree  oi pure 
'*  gold,,  which  becomes  of  a  fructifying  quality,  when  that 
**  BVewei'  gives  it  a  boiling,  who  presided  over  the  cauldron 
of  the  five  plants. 


"  Hence  the  stream  of  Gwion,  and  the  reign  of  serenity, 

and  honey  and  trefoil,  and  horns  flowing  with  mead 

Meet  for  a  sovei'eign  is  the  lore  of  the  Druid^," 

We  have  now  seen  the  end  of  this  curious  poem,  if  it  de- 
serves the. name ;  but  a  few  more  remarks  may  be  proper — 
Primroses  ranked  highly  amongst  the  mystical  apparatus,  if 
we  may  judge  from  their  name,  which  is  a  compound  of 
Bri,'  dignity,  and  Gallu,  power. 

The  leaves  of  the  Briw,  which  we  find  introduced  with 
the  symbolical  sprigs,  or  lots,  are  probably  those  of  the 
Vervain,  which  is  known  by  the  name  of  Briw'r  March.  Pliiiy 
has  told  us,  that  the  Druids  used  this  plant  in  casting  lotSy 
and  foretelling  events^ 

•*  ' 

The  same  rite  of /iifl^iore  is  described,  as  prevailing  from 
Rome  to  Rosedd.  This  seems  to  fix  the  date  of  the  com- 
position, long  before  the  sixth  century — in  an  age  when 
the  Britons  were  acquainted  with  the  Romans,  but  whilst 
Rome  itself,  as  yet  was  Pagan.  It  may  also  be  remarked,  that 
here  is  not  a  single  Christian  idea  introduced ;  on  the  con- 
trary, we  find  an  open  profession  of  worshipping  the  moon. 


ia  a  general  concourse  of  men,  and  the  lore  of  the  Druids  it 
declared  to  be  meet  for  sovereign  princes.  Hence  I  think 
it  probable,  that  no  part  of  this  poem,  excepting  the  intro- 
duction, belongs  to  the  Taliesin  of  the  sixth  century. 

The  deep  water  seems  to  imply  the  bath,  for  immersion ; 
and  the  gift  of  Dovydd,  was  the  Selago,  or  hedge  hyssop, 
which  has  a  synonymous  appellative,  in  modern  Welsh, 
being  called  Grds  Duw,  Gratia  Dei. 

"  With  great  care  and  superstition  did  the  Druids  gather 
"  the  Selago.  Nothing  of  iron  was  to  touch,  or  cut  it, 
"  nor  was  the  bare  hand  thought  worthy  of  that  honour, 
"  but  a  peculiar  vesture,  or  sagus,  applied  by  means  of  the 
"  right  hand ;  the  vesture  must  have  been  holy,  and  taken 
"  off  from  some  sacred  person  privately,  and  with  the  left 
"  hand  only.  The  gatherer  was  to  be  clothed  in  white, 
"  namely,  a  Druid,  whose  garment  was  white,  his  feet 
"  nakedi  and  washed  in  pure  water.  He  was  first  to  offer 
"  a  sacrifice  of  bread  and  wine,  before  he  proceeded  to 
"  gather  the  Selago,  which  was  carriedffrom  the  place  of  its 
"  nativity,  in  a  clean  new  napkin.  This  was  preserved  by 
"  the  Druids,  as  a  charm  against  all  misfortunes."* 

Pren  Puratir,  (line  62)  the  free  of  pure  gold — the  misseltoe 
— Virgil's  Aurum  frond^ns,  and  Ramus  aureus,  which  the 
Arch-Druid  gathered  with  a  golden  hook.  Amongst  the 
extraordinary  reputed  virtues  of  this  plant,  was  that  men- 
tioned by  our  Bard,  oi promoting  the  increase  of  the  species, 
or  preventing  sterility .f    The  names  of  the  misseltoe,  in 

•  Antiq.  of  Cornwall,  B.  II.  C.  12.— From  Pliny. 
+  Ibid. 


the  Welsh  language,  preserve  the  memorial  of  its  ancient 
dignity.  It  is  called  Prera  Amyr,  the  .Ethmal  tree ;  Pren 
Uchelvar,  the  tree  of  the  high  summit ;  and  has  four  other 
names,  derived  from  Uchel,  lofty. 

We  find,  by  the  conclusion  of  the  poem,  that  this,  and 
the  other  select  plants,  were  amongst  the  ingredients  of  the 
mystical  cauldron,  which  had  been  contrived  by  Ceridwen, 
the  British  Ceres.  This  produced  the  stream  of  Grdon,  to 
which  were  ascribed,  not  only  gemw*,  and  the  power  of  in- 
spiration, but  also  the  reign  of  serenity,  which,  as  we  have 
been  told,  in  the  cJiair  of  Ceridwen,  immediately  com- 
menced upon  the  display  of  the  celestial  bow,  at  the  con- 
clusion of  the  deluge. 

This  cauldron,  in  short,  purified  the  votaries  of  Druidism, 
for  the  celebration  of  certain  mystical  rites,  which  comme- 
morated the  preservation  of  mankind  in  the  ark,  and  the 
great  renovation  of  nature. 

That  a  people  so  strongly  attached  to  their  national  cus- 
toms, as  the  ancient  Britons  are  knq|(ni  to  have  been,  should 
have  pertinaciously  adhered  to  the  religion  of  their  ances- 
tors ;  that  the  British  Ceres  should  have  maintained  her 
honours  in  the  obscure  corners  of  the  country,  as  late  as 
the  sixth  century;  and  that  her  votaries  should  have  ap- 
peared in  public  during  that  age,  or  in  the  interval,  between 
the  dominion  of  the  Romans  and  that  of  the  Saxons,  is  not 
greatly  to  be  wondered  at.  There  seems  to  have  been  se- 
veral parts  of  Wales  ii^to  which  Christianity,  as  yet,  had 


Scarcely  penetrated;  or  where,  at  least,  it  had  not  pre- 
ttailed.  Hence  Brychan  is  commended:  "  for  bringing  up 
'.'.  his  children  and  grand-children  in  learning)  so  as  to  be 
"  able  to  shew  the  faith  in  Christ,  to;  the  Cymry,  where 
"  they  were  without  thefaith,"^ 

But  that  the  Welsh  princes,  to  the  latest  period  of  their 
government,  should  not  only  tolerate,  but  patronize  the  old 
superstition;  and  that  the  mysteries  of  Ceres'should  be  ce- 
'lebrated  in  South  Britain,  as  late,  as  the  middle  of  the 
twelfth  century,  a?,e  facts,  as  singular  as  they  are  india- 
putabl(5.  '  ' 

Many  of  the  most  ofFensive  ceremonies  must,  of  course, 
have  been  either  retrenched  or  concealed ;  but  there  is  au- 
thentic proof,  that  the  honours  and  the  mysteries  of  Cerid- 
wen  did  remain.  Some  of  the  paragraphs  which  authen- 
ticate this  fact,  I  have  produced  in  the  first  section  of  this 
essay,  to  which  I  refer  the  reader. 

Before  I  look  for  additional  evidence,  I  shall  oiler  a  few 
hints,  with  a  view  of  accounting  for  the  fact  itsqlf. 

The  commemorations  of  the  deluge  were  so  pointed  ^nd 
clear,  in  the  mystical  rites  of  the  Britons,  that  wli^n  the 
Bards  became  acquainted  with  scripture  history,  they  per- 
^eivedj  and  frequently  Eluded  to,  the  connection  between 
their  own  national  traditions,  and  the  sacred  records,  re- 
specting ISloah  and  hi?  family.  Hence  they  considered  their 
ow?i  as  a   genuine  desji^endant  of  the  patriaa;   religion. 

•  y wall's  Csin.  Siog^V.  Brjchan.— rroqj  thtfTtiaCls^ 


and    therefore,    as    not   absolutely    iriQconcileable     with 

The  Roman  laws  and  edicts,  had  for  some  ages,  restrained 
the  more  cruel  customs,  and  the  bloody  sacrifices  of  the 
Druids :  what  now  remained  was  their  code  of  mystical  doc- 
trines, together  with  their  symbolical  rites. 

The  Bards  were  influenced  by  their  profession,  and  the 
princes,  who  from  their  infancy,  had  been  accustomed  to 
hear  and  admire  the  songs  of  the  Bards,  were  induced,  by 
national  prejudice,  to  regard  these  as  innocent,  at  least,  if 
not  meritorious :  and  to  fancy,  that  they  might  be  good 
Christians  enough,  without  wholly  rehnquishing  their  hea- 
thenish superstitions, 

The  ministers  of  Christianity  thought  otherwise,  and 
sometimes  refused  Christian  burial  to  these  Gentile  priests : 
and  there  are  many  instances  of  the  Bards  themselves, 
promising  a  kind  of  recantation,  sometime  before  their 

Conscience  being  soothed  by  these  palliatives,  gave  way 
to  a  cogent  argument,  in  favour  of  the  Bardic  institution, 
which  was  supposed  to  give  a  strong  support  to  personal 
fortitude ;  and  to  animate  the  spirit  of  national  indepen- 
dence, during  times,  the  most  difficult  and  disastrous. 

Such  appears  to  have  been  the  feehng  of  Hywel,  the  son 
of  Owen  Gwynedd,  who  succeeded  his  father,  in  the  princi- 
pality of  North  Wales,  and  died  in  the  year  1171. 

We  may  infer  from  the  following  poem,  that  this  prince 
had  been  initiated  into  the  lesser  mysteries  of  Ceridwen,'and 


that  he  eagerly  longed  for  admittance  to  the  greater,  namely, 
thosp  of  the  covered  coracle,  which  were  conducted  by 
Gwyddnaw  and  his  son :  for  I  shall  shew  hereafter,  that,  by 
the  Steed,  in  the  mystical  lore  of  the ,  Bards,  is  meant  a 
boat,  or  vessel  upon  the  water;  and  here  we  find  the  mean- 
ing ascertained  by  other  circumstances. 

Song  by  Hyweli,  the  son  of  Owen.* 

"  I  love  in  the  summer  season,  the  prancing  steed  of  the 
"  placid  smiling  chief,  in  the  presence  of  the  gallant  lord, 
"  who  rules  the  foam-covered,  nimbly-moving  wave.  But 
"  another  has  worn  the  token  of  the  apple  spray  :f  my 
*'  shield  remains  white  upon  my  shoulder;  the  wished  for 
"  atchievement  have  I  not  obtained,  though  great  was  my 
"  desire. 

"  Ceridwen,  lofty  and  fair — slow  and  delicate  in  her  de- 
"  scending  course — her  complexion  is  formed  of  the  mild 
"  light,  in  the  evening  hour  J-- the  splendid,  graceful, 
"  bright,  and  gentle  lady  of  the  mystic,  song — even  in 
"  bending  a  rush  would  she  totter — so  small,  so  delicate,  so 
"  feebly  descending ! 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  278. 

+  That  is,  "  another  iias  been  the  successful  candidate — he  carries  the  cm- 
"  blem  of  -viclory ;  whilst  my  shield  retains  a  hlmk  surface,  not  blazoned 
"  with  the  desired  atchievement." 

Hywel  lived  in  an  age  of  Chivalry  ;  hence  the  metaphors  in  this  passage. 

%  The  new  moon,  with  her  mall  and  j/oXlid  crescent,  \ras  the  symbol  of  this 


*'  But  though  small,  she  is  older  than  the  youth  of  ten 
"  years.  She  is  the  modeller  of  our  tender  age,  full  ofmeek- 
"  ness ;  her  juvenile  discipline  has  she  freely  bestowed.  Yet,  as 
"  a  heroine,  she  would  rather  impede  her  own  prosperity, 
"  than  utter  one  sentence  of  unseemly  import. 

"  Attend  thou  my  worship^  in  the  mystical  grove:  and 
*'  whilst  I  adore  thee,  maintain  thy  ownjurisdictibn .'" 

If  we  may  judge  from  Hywel's  description,  Ceridwen  had 
greatly  improved  in  her  person  and  her  manners,  since  the 
sixth  century  ;  hut  still,  she  is  the  same  object  of  idolatrous 
veneration :  she  stUl  communicates  her  mystical  laws  to  the 
devoted  aspirant. 

Upon  a  subsequent  application,  our  princely  Bard  seems 
to  have  been  more, successful;  for  thus  he  sings  of  Llywy, 
who,  as  we  have  already  seen,  was  the  daughter  of  Ceridwen, 
and  was  now  become  the  mystical  sister  of  Hywel. 

"  I  love  the  Caer  of  the  illustrious  lady,  near  the  pleasant 
"  shore :  and  to  the  place  where  the  modest  fair  one  loves 
"  to  behold  the  sea  mew;  to  the  place  where  I  am  greatly 
"  beloved,  I  would  gladly  go. 

"  I  will  vow  a  visit  to  the  serenely  fair — that  I  may  be- 
"  hold  my  sister  gently  smiling — that  nI  may  avow  the  love 
"  which  fate  has  allotted  me,  in  the  home  of  her,  who  tran- 
"  quiUizes  my  breast  with  her  itiild  influence ;  in  the  home 

^'  of  Llywy,  whose  hue  is  like  Dylan's  wave. 

t  ' 

<<  From  her  dominion,  an  overflowing  deluge  has  extended 


"  td  us.     Pair  is  she,  as  the  snow,  whigh  the  cold  has  po-» 
"  lished  upon  the-lofty  peak. 

"  For  the  severe  discipline  which  I  experienced  in  the  hall  of 
"  the  mysterious  god,  I  have  obtained  her  promise — a  treasure 
*'  of  high  privilege^ 

"  She  lias  stolen  my  soul — I  am  become  weak — my  spirit 
"  is  like  that  of  Garwy  Hir — I  am  detained  for  the  fair  one^ 
"  in  the  hall  of  the  mysterious  god !" 

And  again — ■ 

"  I  shall  Jong  for  the  proud-wrought  Caer  of  the  Gy^ 
*'  ti/lchi,  till  my  exulting  person  has  gained  admittance^ 
"  Renowned  and  enterprizing  is  the  man  who  enters  theret 

*'  It  is  the  chosen  place  tf  Uywy,  zvith  her  splendid  en^ 
"  dowments.  Bright  gleaining,  she  ascends  from  the  margin  of 
"  the  sea :  and  the  lady  shines  this  present  year,  in  the  desart 
"  ofARvoN,   in  Eryri, 

*'  A  pavilion  will  not  be  regarded,  nor  costly  robes  ad- 
"  mired,  lay  her  whose  merit  I  fondly  wish  to  delineate : 
"  but  if  she  would  bestow  the  privilege  for  any  strain  of 
"  Bardism,  I  would  enjoy  this  night  in  her  society." 

If  we  may  judge  from  these  strains  of*  Hy\vel,  and  from 
many  similar  passages  in  the  works  of  his  contemporaries,- 
the  Cambrian  Bards  were  as  zealously  devoted  to  the  worship 
of  Ceridwen  and  Llywy,  or  Ceres  and  Proserpine,  in  the 
twelfth  century,  as  they  had  been  in  the  sixth,  or  in  any 
earliei'  age  of  heathen  superstition. 

We  have  alredy  seen  some  hints  of  a  solemn  oath,  that 
was  administered  to  the  aspirants,  hefore  they  were  ad- 
mitted to  the  mystical  rites  of  these  characters :  accordingly, 
the  Welsh  Archaiology  supplies  us  with  an  old  formulary  of 
introduction  in  very  obscure  language,  and  uncouth  ortho- 
graphy, which  seems  to  have  been  used  upon  these  occasions; 

Arthur  and  Cai  are  :fepresented,  as  approaching  the  gate 
of  the  sanctuary,  which  was  guarded  by  the  hierophant^ 
and  commencing  the  following  dialogue — 


"  What  man  is  he  that  guards  the  gate  ?" 


"  The  severe  hoary  one,  with  the  wide  dominion— —Who 
"  is  the  man  that  demands  it/'     - 


*'  Arthur  and  the  blessed  Cai." 


"  What  good  attends  thee,  thou  blessed  one,  thou  best 

■"  man  in  the  world ! Into  my  house  thou  canst  not  enter,; 

"  unless  thou  wilt  preserve  "  . 


"  1  will  preserve  U,  and  that  thou  shalt  behold ;  thouglji 
"  the  birds  of  wrath  should  go  forth,  and  the  three  atteridant 
"  ministers  should  fall  asleep,  namely,  the  son  of  the  Creator, 
'f  Mabon  the  son  of  Mydron,  attendant  upon  the  wonders 


"  ful  supreme  Ruler,  and  Gwyn,  the  Lord  of  those  who'  de- 
"  scendfrom  above" 


"  Severe  have  my  servants  been,  in  preserving  their  ifl- 
"  stitutes.  Manciwydan,  the  son  of  Llyr,  was  grave  in  his 
"  counsel.  ,  Manawyd  truly  brought  a  perforated  shield, 
"  from  Trevryd ;  and  Mabon,  the  son  of  Lightning,  stained 
"  the  straw  with  clotted  gore  :  and  Anwas,  the  winged,  and 
"  Llwch  Llawinawg,  (the  ruler  of  the  lake)  were  firm  guar- 
"  dians  of  the  incircled  mount — Their  Lord  preserved  them, 
"  and  I  rendered  them  complete, 

"  Cai !  I  solemnly  announce — though  all  three  should  be 
"  slain ;  when  the  privilege  of  the  grove  is  violated,  danger 
"  shall  be  found !" 

The  remainder  of  this  obscure  piece,  describes  the  dif- 
ferent characters  which  were  supported  by  Arthur  and  Cai, 
after  their  initiation,  and  the  different  fates  which  attended 
them.  The  passage  before  us  may  be  understood,  as  in- 
volving a  very  solemn  oath.  The  Aspirant  engages,  in  the 
presence  of  the^  Hierophant,  who  personates  his  god,  to 
preserve  the  laws  of  the  sanctuary,  however  he  may  be  as- 
saulted by  enemies,  or  deserted  by  his  friends ;  whilst  the 
chief  priest  denounces  in  awful  obscurity,  the  inevitable  ruin 
which  will  attend  the  violation  of  this  sacred  engage- 

Jlere  we  also  find,  that  during  the  performance  of  the 
mystical  rites,  the  Hierophant  was  attended  by  three  priests. 


each  of  whom  personated  a  god.  This  is  in  perfect  con- 
fonnity  with  the  usage  of  the  Greeks.  For,  we  are  told, 
that  in  the  celebration  of  the  Eleusinian  mysteries,  four 
priests  officiated.  The  Hierophant,  who  represented  the 
Great  Creator :  the  torch-bearer,  who  personated  the  sun ; 
the  Herald,  who  was  regarded  as  a  type  of  Mercurif,  and 
the  minister  of  the  altar,  who  was  venerated  as  the  symbol 
of  the  moon. 

Having  now  taken  a  considerable  range  in  the  grounds 
of  British  superstition,  I  shall  dismiss  the  present  siibject, 
with  the  persuasion,  that  the  facts  which  I  have  brought 
forward  in  this,  and  the  preceding  section,  will  furnish  a 
master-key  to  the  stores  of  British  mythology. 

It  has  been  proved,  that  the  great  secret  of  the  ancient 
,  Bards,  who  professed  themselves  disciples  of  the  Druids, 
and  consequently  of  the  Druids  themselves,  resolves  itself 
into  "the  mystical  rites  of  Hu  and  Ceridwen;  that  these  cha- 
racters were  no  other  than  the  Bacchus  and  Ceres  of  an- 
tiquity, whose  mysteries  are  acknowledged  to  have  been 
dull/  celebrated  in  the  British  islands ;  and  that  the  ceremonies 
and  traditions  of  the  Britons,  had  evident  analogy  with  the 
superstitions  of  the  Greeks,  and  of  some  of  the  Eastern 

It  has  also  been  seen,  that  the  British  mysteries  comme- 
morate the  deluge,  and  those  characters  which  are  con- 
nected with  its  history  ;  and  thus  furnish  an  undeniable  con- 
firmation of  Mr.  Bryant's  opinion,  that  Ceres  was  an  ima- 
ginary genius  of  the  Ark,  from  whence  the  post-diluvian 
■jyorld  derived  thejr  being,  their  laws,  and  their  sciences ; 



whilsjt  on  the  other  liand,  that  opinion  suppKcs  a  lucid 
solution  of  the  great  Bardic  aenigma,  that  every  thing  sa- 
cred, pure,  and  prifn-itive,  was  derived  from  the  cauldron  of 

In  British  trntiquities,  the  slibject  is  new,  and  upon  that 
account  alone,  may  be  deemed  curious  by  mapy  readers ; 
but  I  regard  it  in  a  more  important  light,  as  in  connexion 
with  the  discoveries  of  Mr.  Bryant  and  Mr.  Faber,  af-- 
ford^ihg  a  demonstration  to  the  candid  philosopher,  that 
heathenism  had  no  foundation  of  its  own  to  rest  upon,  and 
that  its  tottering  fabric  merely  leaned  against  the  great 
historical  truths,  which  are  recorded  va,  the  sacred  volume* 



The  Dedgn  of  the  circuiciV  Temples  and  Cromlechs  of  the 
Druids. — Original  Documents  relative'  to  the  celebrated 
Structure  of  Stonkhenge. 

1'  " 

-1-  HE  superstition  of  the  Britons,  as  we  find  it  delineated 

in  the  ancient  Bards,  and  prohably,  as  it  existed  for  many 
centuries,  before  the  time  of  any  of  those  Bards  which  are 
now  extant,  appears  to  have  been  a  heterogeneous  system, 
iri  which  the  memorials  of  the  patriarch,  and  of  the  deluge, 
and  some  of  the  true  principles  of  the  patriarchal  religion, 
were  blended  with  a  mass  of  absurdity,  and  an  idolatrous 
worship  of  the  hosfof  heaven. 

Thus,  whilst  Ceridwen  is  the  genius  of  the  Ark,  we  ob- 
serve, that  at  the  same  time,  the  moon  is  her  representative 
in  the  heavens.  Her  husband,  Tegid  ox  Saidi,  commemo- 
rates Noah;  but  he  is  also  viewed  in  the  planet  Saturn;  and 
by  the  name  of  Hu,  he  even  takes'  possession  of  the  solar 
orb.  Avagddu,  the  hlack  accumulation,  which  appalled  the 
world  at  the  deluge,  has  brightened  into  JRhuvawn  Bevyr, 
or  the  splendor  of  the  regenerated  sun. 

.  Hence  we  must  expect  ta  findi  that  the  temples  which 
were  sacred  to  this  inotley  superstition,  had  some  reference 
to  the  celestial,  as  well  as  to  the  tetrestrial  objects  of  adb- 

V  3 



It  has  been  already  remarked,  that  Cadeiriath  Saidi,  ot 
the  language  of  the  chair  of  Saidi,  was  personified ;  and  that 
he  constituted  an  important  character  in  British  mythology. 

But  such  an  ideal  personage  as  this,  could  have  been 
nothing  more  than  a  representative  of  the  sacred  ceremonies, 
doctrine,  laws,  and  institutes  of  Druidism :  as  exhibited  and 
taught,  in  the  temple  or  sanctuary  of  Ceridwen,  bM.  of 
the  other  mythological  group. 

This  temple  was  named  Caer  Sidi,  the  circle,  or  sanctuary 
of'Sidi;  and  Taliesin's  presidency,  as  high  priest  in  that 
temple,  was  styled  Cadair  Caer  Sidi,  the  chair  of  Caer  Sidi. 
The  doctrine  and  the  law  which  he  pronounced  from  that 
chair,  were  therefore,  the  Cadeiriaith,  or  language  of  thi 
chair.  Let  us  now  inquire,  why  the  name  of  Caer  Sidi  was 
appropriated  to  the  Druidical  temples. 

I  might  cut  this  matter  short,  by  asserting  upon  the- 
authority  of  Mr  Bryant,  that  Sidi,  or  Xih,  was  one  of  the 
names  of  Ceres. 

"  As  the  Ark,  says  that  great  mythologist,  was  looked' 
"  upon  as  the  mother  of  mankind,  and  stiled  Da-Mater, 
'\  so  it  was  figured  under  the  resemblance  of  the  "Poia,  Po- 
"  megranate,  since  abounding  with  seeds,  it  was  thought 
"  no  improper  emblem  of  the  Ark,  which  contained  the 
"  nadiments  of  the  future  world.  Hence  the  deity  of  the 
"  Ark  was  named  Rhoia,  and  was  the  Rhea  of  the  Greeks." 
"  — Another  name  of  the  pomegfanate  was  Sid^  (p^v,  Sidee) 
"  of  which  name  there  was  a  city  in  Pamphylia,  and 
"  another  in  Boeotia,  which  was  said  to  have  been  built 
'*  by  Sjdb,  the  daughter  of  Danaus,  which  may  be  in  a 


♦*  great  measure  true :  for  by  a  daughter  ofDanaus,  is  meant 
"  a  priestess  of  Da-Naus,  the  Ark,  the  same  as  Da-Mater."* 

According  to  this  deduction,  Sidee  must  have  been  as 
legitimate  a  name  as  Rhea,  for  the  genius  of  the  Ark  ;  andi 
it  must  have  represented  that  sacred  vessel,  as  hitherto  im- 
pregnated with  its  seeds ;  or,  as  containing  the  patriarch  and 
his  family,  who  became  objects  of  superstitious  veneration, 
to  succeeding  ages. 

But  the  British  Caer  Sidi  \f&%  derived  through  another 
channel.  It  appears  from  the  spoils  of  the  deep,  one  of  the 
principal  of  the  mystical  poems  of  Taliesin,-)"  that  the  ori- 
ginal Caer  Sidi,  and  the  prototype  of  that  sanctuary,  in 
which  our  Bard  presided,  was  no  other  than  the  sacred 
vessel,  in  which  the  my  thological  ^rf  Awr  and  Ms  seven  friends 
escaped  the  general  deluge.  Thus  the  Britons  regarded  Caer 
Sidi  as  a  name  of  the  Ark. 

But  as  the  Britons,  like  many  other  heathens,  had  blended 
their  commemorations  of  the  patriarch  and  his  family,  with 
the  worship  of  the  host  of  heaven ;  as  the  sun,  moon,  and 
planetSj  were  now  viewed  as  emblems  of  their  consecrated 
p):€rgenitors,-and  of  their  sacred  ship,  and  probably  had  en- 
grossed the  greatest  part  of  popular  veneration ;  so  we  find 
that  the  name  of  Caer  Sidi,  or  S;idin,  was  transferred  from 
the  sacred  ship,  to  that  great  circle,  in  which  those  lumi- 
nous emblems  of  their  gods^  presided  and  expatiated.  In 
British  astronomy,  it  was  become  the  name  of  the  Zodiac. 

*  Analys.  V.  II.  p.  330. 
t  Appendix,  Np.  3. 


Agreeably  to  the  idiom  of  thcx Welsh  language,  the  •words 
Caer,  Sidi,  or  Sidin,  imply  the  circle,  or  inclosed  place  of 
the  revolution.  We  may,  therefore,  admire  the  dexterity 
t^ith  which  the  genius  of  mythology  appropriated  the  title,, 
first,  to  the  vessel  in  which  all  the  surviving  inhabitants  oftht 
world  performed  the  greatest  revolution  recorded  in  history ; 
secondly,  to  that  celestial  circle,  in  which  the  luminaries  of 
the  world  perpetually  revolve;  and  lastly,  to  the  Druidical 
temples,  which  appear  from  the  works  of  the  Bards,  to  have 
had  a  marked  reference,  both  to  the  sacred  s/w]p,  fl.nd  to  the 

Their  reference  to  the  former  may  be  proved,  not  only 
from  the  spoils  of  the  deep,  but  also  from  Taliesin's  poera 
upon  the  sons  of  Llyr,*  where  he  tells  us,  that  his  chair,  or 
presidency,  was  sacred  to  Ceridwen. 

Neud  amiig  ynghadeir  o  beir  Ceridwen ! 
Handid  rydd  fy  nhafawd, 
Yn  addawd  gwawd  Ogyrwen. 

"  Is  not  my  chair  protected  by  the  cauldron  of  Cerid- 
"  wen?  Therefore,  let  my  tongue  be  free,  in  the  sanc- 
"  tudry  of  the  praise  of  the  goddess'' 

And  again,  in  the  same  poem,  he  names  and  describes 
this  presidency — 

Ys  cytyipir  fy  nghadeir,  ynghaef  Sidi 
lN[is  plawdd  haint  a  henaint  a  fo  yndi 
Ys  gwyr  Manawyd  a  Phryderi 
Tair  Orian  y  am  dan  a  gan  rhegddi 

AppendiX)  No.  1. 


Acam  ei  bannau  fFrydieti  gweilgi 
A'rffynawn  ffrwythlavvn  yssydd  odducliti 
Ys  whegach  nor'  gwin  gwyn  y  Uyii  yndi* 

"  Complete  is  my  chair  in  Caer  Sidi :  neither  disorde* 
"  nor  age  will  oppress  him  that  is  within  it.  It  is  known 
"  to  Manawyd  afid  Pryderi,  that  three  loud  strains  round 
"  the  fire,  will  be  sung  before  it ;  whilst  the  currents  of  thi 
"  sea  are  round  its  borders,  and  the  copious  fountain  is  open 
"  foom  above,  the  liquor  within  it  is  sweeter  than  delicious 
"  win&" 

It  is  clear,  from  these  remarkable  passages,  that  the  name 
of  Caer  Sidi  was  given  to  the  sanctuary,  in  which  the  rites 
of  Ceridwen  were  celebrated :  for  the  presideiicy  which 
Was  protected  by  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen,  and  the  presi* 
dency  of  Caer  Sidi,  imply  one  and  the  same  thing.  And 
the  sanctuary  of  that  presidency  is  described  with  circum- 
stances, which  can  be  referred  only  to  the  history  of  a  ship, 
and  which  evidently  allude  to  the  Ark* 

The  currents  of  the  deep  compass  it  about,  and  the  copious 
fountain  is  open  foom  above;  still  there  is  safety^  tranquil-' 
lity,  and  comfortable  subsistence  within.  All  this  is  the 
literal  history  of  the  Ark,  and  there  can  be  httle  doubt^  but 
that  it  is  also  the  history  of  some  rites,  which  the  Britons 
observed  in  commemoration  of  it* 

That  the  same  sanctuary  had  its  allusion  to  the  gfeat  circle 
of  th6  Zodiac,  may  be  inferred  from  the  language  of  the? 
same  Taliesin,  who  vaunting  of  the  high  importance  of  his 
pontifical  office,  assimilates  his  own  character  with  that  of 
Apollo,  or  the  sun. 

Having  informed  us,  in  the  poem  whjch  is  called  his  his^ 


tory,  that  he  had  received  the  Aniens  or  impiration,  from 
the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen,  he  concludes  in  this  manner. 

Mi  a  fum  ynghadair  flin 
Uwch  Caer  Sidin 
A  lionno  yn  troi  fydd 
Rhwng  tri  elfydd 
Pand  rhyfedd  ir  byd 
Nas  argennyd:* 

"  I  have  presided  in  a  toilsome  chair,  over  the  circle  of 
"  Sidin,  whilst  that  is  continually  revolving  between  three 
"  elements ;  is  it  not  a  wonder  to  the  world,  that  men  are 
"  not  enlighiened?" 

Here  the  Bard,  as  usual,  blends  the  description  of  celes' 
tial  objects  with  that  of  their  representatives  on  earth.  The 
Caer  Sidin,  which  continually  revolves  in  the  midst  of  the 
universe,  is  the  circle  of  the  zodiac.  Here  the  sun,  the 
great  luminary  of  the  world,  is  the  visible  president.  Our 
Bard  could  not  pretend  to  have  presided  in  this  Caer  Sidin; 
but  as  his  own  assumed  name,  Taliesin,  radiant  front,  was 
a  mere  title  of  the  sun,  so,  as  chief  Druid  of  his  age,  he . 
was  the  priest  and  representative  of  the  great  Inminary  upon 
earth ;  and  his  vicegerent  in  that  sanctuary,  which  typified 
the  abode  of  the  gods. 

In  the  subject  of  British  antiquities,  it  might  be  deemed 
of  some  importance  to  ascertain  the  form  of  those  Caer 
Sidis,  or  sanctuaries,  in  which  our  ancestors  celebrated  the 
rites  of  their  Certdztien  or  Ceres,  and  performed  other  acts 
of  worship — to  determine  whether  those  sanctuaries  con- 

.2 ,,___ ^. 

"  W.  Archsiol.  p.  SO. 


sisted  merely  of  caves,  glades  in  the  sacred  groves,  islets  in 
the  lakes  or  margin  of  the  sea,  and  the  like;  or  whether 
they  are  to  be  recognised  in  those  round  trenches  and  circles 
of  stones,  which  still  remain  in  various  parts  of  these  islands, 
and  have  been  deemed  Druidical  temples.  I  shall  therefore 
offer  such  hints  upon  the  subject  as  occur  to  me,  and  leave 
them  to  the  consideration  of  mythologists  and  antiquaries. 

As  the  Britons  distinguished  the  zodiac  and  the  temples, 
or  sanctuaries  of  their  gods,  by  the  same  name  of  Caer 
Sidi,  and  as  their  great  Bard,  Taliesin,  blends  the  lieavenly 
and  the  terrestrial  Sidi  in  one  description,  we  may  presume, 
that  they  regarded  the  latter  as  a  type  or  representation  of 
the  ybrwer. 

The  two  great  objects  of  their  superstitious  regard,  as  w& 
have  already  seen,  were  the  patriarch  and  the  ark ;  but  un- 
der the  names  of  Hu  and  Ceridwen,  these  were  figured  or 
represented  by  the  two  great  luminaries,  which  revolve  in 
the  celestial  zone.  And  this  conceit  was  analogous  to  the 
mythology  of  other  nations.  For  Liber  Pater  was  the  same 
as  Dionusus,  who,  according  to  Mr.  Bryant,  was  the  pa- 
triarch Noah ;  and  Ceres  was  the  genius  of  the  ark :  yet  we 
.find  that  Virgil,  the  most  learned  of  the  poets,  unites  their 
characters  with  those  of  the  sun  and  moon. 

*  Vos,  O  clarissima  mundi 

Lumina,  labantem  calo  qui  ducitis  annum 
Liber,  et  alma  Ceres! 

Were  a  representation "  of  this  idea  of  the  poet,  to  be 

•  O  Liber,  and  holy  Ceres,  ye  bright  lummari«s  gf  ihc  world,  who   lead 
forth  the  year,  revoking  in  the  heavens! 


made  In  sculpture,  we  should  see  the  two  gfeat  mythological 
characters  moving  in  their  proper  orbits,  amongst  the  signs 
of  the  zodiac,  which  mark  the  diflFerent  seasons  of  the  re- 
volving yearj  and  which  the  Egyptians  style  tite  grand  as- 
semhh/,  or  senate  of  the  twelve  gods,* 

In  Mons.  de  Gebelin's  Monde  Primitif,f  I  observe  a 
curious  antique  design,  taken  from  the  zone  of  a  statue, 
supposed  to  he  that  of  Venus,  which  is  highly  illustrative 
of  this  subject.  Here,  the  story  of  Ceres  and  Proserpine 
is  beautifully  told.  The  former  goddess  is  mounted  upon  a 
car,  formed  like  a  boator  ha^  moon,  and  drawn  by  dragons; 
holding  lighted  torches  in  her  hands,  she  flies  in  search  of  her 
daughter,  who  is  violently  carried  away  in  Pluto's  chariot, 
Hercules,  or  the  sun,  leads  the  procession,  and  the  group 
is  hastening  into  the  presence  of  Jupiter,  who  appears  en- 
throned on  a  cloud.  The  whole  is  surrounded  with  twelve 
oblong  tablets,  or  short  pillars,  upon  which  are  depicted 
the  twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac,  in  an  erect  posture;  inti- 
mating evidently,  that  the  mythology  of  those  personages 
was  connected  with  an  exact  observation  of  the  stars,  and 
of  the  return  of  the  seasons.  And,  agreeably  to  this  hint,^ 
we  find  that  the  mystical  Bards,  and  tales  of  the  Britons, 
constantly  allude  to  the  completion  of  the  i/ear,  and  the  re- 
turn of  a  particular  day,  when  they  treat  of  the  history  and 
the  rites  of  Ceridwen. 

Were  a  pantheon,  or  temple  of  the  dissembled  gods,  to  be 
designed  after  the  model  of  this  sculpture,  we  should  have 
the  principal  figures  stationed  in  the  central  area,  and  the 
pillars  of  the  constellations  ranged  about  them  in  a  circle. 

'       'I       ■  — 

•  Bryant's  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  483. 

+  Tom,  IV.  PI.  7,  Fig.  1. 


And  were' this  to  be  undei-taken,  by  a  people  who  abhorfed^i. 
vered  femples,  and  either  disallowed  the  me  of  sculpture,  or  else 
were  ignorant  of  the  art ;  the  central  figures  would  be  r«pre- 
sented  by  rude  masses  of  wood  or  stone,  and  the  rude  pillars 
.  of  the  constellations  would  occupy  the  outward  circle,  as  in 
the  British  monuments,  delineated  by  Dr.  Borlase  and  other 

That  the  Druldical  temples  were  generally  of  a  round 
form,  appears  by  the  appellative  terms  which  the  Bards 
constantly  use  in  describing  them,  as  Caer  Sidi,  the  circle 
of  revolution ;  Cor,  a  round  or  circle,  Cylch^  a  circle ;  and 
Cylck  Byd,  the  circle  of  the  world,  which  occurs  in  Anevirin 
and  Taliesin.* 

It  is  also  evident,  that  they  were  composed  of  stone:  for 
Aneurin,  Taliesin,  and  Merddin,  speak  of  the  stones  which 
composed  these  circles.  But  let  us  endeavour  to  identify 
one  of  their  circular  temples,  that  we  may  have  some  rule 
to  judge  of  the  rest. 

In  the  poems  of  Hy wel,  the  son  of  Owen,  which  I  have 
already  quoted,  that  prince  says  expressly,  that  the  proud- 
brought  iTiclosure  in  the  Gyvylchi,  in  the  desert  of  Anion,  in 
Eryri,  or  Snowden,  and  towards  the  shore,  was  the  Caer,  or 
sanctuary  of  the  mystical  goddess,  and  the  chosen  place  of 
her  daughter  Llywy,  or  the  British  Proserpine. 

The  topography  of  this  temple  is  so  mintitely  pointed" 

•  To  this  I  may  add,  Cylch  Balch  Nevwy,  the  proud^ox  magnificent,  edestial 
circle,  round  which  the  majestic  eahs,  the  symbols  of  Taronwy,  the  god  of 
thunder,  spread  their  arms, 

Talitsin,  Cerdd  Daronmy. 


out,  that  the  spot  cannot  he  mistaken :  and  If  we  find  here 
a  monument  which  has  any  appearance  of  representing  the 
Zodiac,  or  Celestial  Caer  Sidi,  it  may  serve  as  a  guide, 
in  distinguishing  other  British  monuments  of  the  same 

Dvry-Gyviflchi  is  still  known,  ^s  the  name  of  a  parish, 
in  the  very  spot  where  the  Cambrian  prince  fixes  his  Cae^ 
Wen  Glaer,  or  sanctuary  of  the  illustrious  Lady,  in  the  de- 
serts of  Arvon,   in  Eryri,  and  towards  the  sea:  and  here 
the  remains  of  the  Caer  are  still  to  be  found. 

.  The  annotator  upon  Camden,  having  described  a  strong 
fortress,  "  seated  on  the  top  of  one  of  the  highest  moun- 
"  tains,  of  that  part  of  Snowden,  which  lies  towards  the  sea ;" 
gives  the  following  account  of  this  ancient  tempki 

."  About  a  mile  from  this  fortification,  stands  the  most 
"  remarkable  monument  in  all  Snowden,  called  Y  Meineu 
"  Hirion,  upon  the  plain  mountain,  within  the  parish  of 
"  I>\vy-Gyvycheu,  above  Gwddw  Gl&s,  It  is  a  circular 
"  eiitrenchment,  about  twenty-six  yards  diameter;  on  the 
"  outside  whereof,  are  certain  rude,  stone  pillars ;  of  which 
"  about  twelve  are  now  standing,  some  two  yards,  and 
"  others  five  foot  high :  and  these  are  again  encompassed 
"  with  a  stone  wall.  It  stands  upon  the  plain  mountain,  as 
"  soon  as  we  come  to  the  height,  having  much  even  ground 
"  about  it ;  and  not  far  from  it,  there  are  three  other  large 
"  stones,  pitched  on  end,  in  a  triangular  form."* 

We  are  also  told  that,  at  the  distance  of  about  three  fur- 

Gibson's  Camdea,  Col.  BOS. 


longs  from  this  monument,  there  are  several  huge  heap*,  or 
Cams,  and  also  cells,  constructed  of  huge  stones,  fixed  ia 
the  ground,  and  each  cell  covered  with  one  o^  two  stones 
of  a  superior  size. 

Such  was  the  sanctuary  which  was  held  sacred  to  Cerid- 
wen  and  Tulyiey,  or  Ceres  and  Proserpine,  in  the  middle  of 
ijie  twelfth  century,  an  age  in  which  the  honours  of  those 
characters  were  nol  forgotten:  for  we  have  already  seen, 
that  their  mysteries,  strange  as  the  fact  may  appear,  were 
still  celehrated,  not  only  with  toleration,  hut  also  under  the 
patronage  of  the  British  princes. 

Hywel's  avowed  veneration  of  those  mysteries,  Into  which 
he  himself  had  been  initiated,  would  not  have  permitted 
him  to  speak  lightly,  and  at  random,  upon  the  subjects  of 
this  hallowed  fane.  And  his  own  studious  disposition,' 
joined  with  his  rank  in  society,  must  have  procured  him 
access  to  the  best  information,  respecting  the  antiquities 
of  his  country,  had  any  deep  research  been  requisite.  But 
this  case  presented  no  difficulty.  There  could  have  been 
no  doubt  of  the  intention  of  a  temple,  which  was  sacred 
to  an  existing  superstition.  A  regular  succession  of  mystical 
Bards  had  hitherto  been  maintained,  from  the  days  of 
Taliesih,  and  from  the  ages  of  pure  Druidism. 

Hence,  by  comparing  this  structure  with  the  facts  pre- 
viously stated,  we  may  fairly  conclude,  that  in  those  ages, 
the  temples  which  were  sacred  to  British  mysteries,  werie 
regai-ded  as  images  of  Caer  Sidi,  or  the  Zodiac,  as  they 
were  dignified  with  its  name,  or  else  were  so  construct- 
ed as  to  represent  some  of  the  phanomena,  displayed  in 
that  celestial  zone.  '  '"" 


In  this  monument  of  the  Gymfhhi,  we  find  the  eii'de  of 
tpelve  stones,  which  undpubtedly  represented  the  twelve 
signs,  the  same  which  appeared  jipon  the  Antique,  pub- 
lished by  M.  De  Gebelin,  commemorative  of  the  history 
of  Ceres  and  Proserpine. 

From  the  desoription  quoted  out  of  Camden,  imperfect 
as  it  is,  we  may  infer,  -that  the  temple  of  the  -Gyvylchi  is. 
a  work  of  the  same  kind  as  those  circular  monuments  of 
stone,  which  have  attracted  the  notice  of  the  curious,  from 
theSouth  to  the  North  extremity  of  this  Island,  and  which 
our  best  antiquaries  pronounce,  not  only  to  have  been  tem^ 
pies  of  the  heathen  Britons,  but  also  to  have  been  con- 
structed upon  dstronomifial  principles :  in  short,  to  have  re- 
presented, either  tl^e  Zodiac  itself,  or  certain  cycles  and 
computations,  deduced  frqrn  the  study  of  astronomy.  Hejice 
the  frequent  repetition  of  twehe,  nineteen,  tMrty,  oi  sixty 
stones>  which  has  been  remarked  in  the  circles  of  these 

Our  fane  of  Snowden,  it  is  admitted,  could  never  have 
vie4  in  inagnificence,  with  a  Stonehenge,  or  an  Ahury.  In 
the  ages  of  Druidism,  it  could  have  been  regarded  only  as 
a^opincial  sanctuary,  but  the  number  of  twelve  stonds  which 
constitutes  its  circle,  is  twice  repeated  in  the  stupendoiis 
fabric  of  Ahury ;  it  freq^uently  occurs  also,  in  the  Cornish 
monuments,  not^d  by  Dr.  Bqrlase ;  and  it  is  found  in  the 
complete  temple  of  Classemiss,  in  the  Western  Isles  of 
ScQtland.  Here  is  also  the  cell,  consisting  of  three  huge 
stones,  erected  in  a,  triangular  form,  as  in  the  structure  of 

From  this  little  Cambrian  chapel,  then  I§t  us  endeavou? 

303      - 

to  trace  our  way  to  the  larger  moauments  of  British  super- 

That  Stonehenge  was  a  Druidical  temple  of  high  emi- 
nence, .and  that  its  construction  eyinces  considerable  pror 
ficiency  in  astronomy,  has  been  the  decided  opinion  of 
many  respectable  antiquaries.  That  I  may  not  multiply 
proofs  of  a  fact  so  generally  known,  I  shall  only  extract  part 
of  the  leai-ned  Mr.  Maurice's  remarks  upon  that  celebrated 

"  But  of  all  the  circular  temples  of  the  Druids,  (says  the 
"  author  of  the  Indian  Antiquities)  as  Stonehenge  is  the 
"  most  considerable,  a  description  of  it  from  the  most  an- 

*'  cient  and  the  most  modern  writer  on  that  subject is 

"  here  presented  to  the  reader.  I  take  it  for  granted,  that 
"  the  passage  cited  by  DiodoruSt  from  iJecatew^,  .arjifl  be- 
"  fore  alluded  to  by  Mr.  Knight,  is  [to  be  understood  of] 
"  this  identical  temple ,  of  Stonehenge,  or  Choir  Gaur,  its 
"  ancient  British  name,  meaning,  according  to  Stukeley, 
"  the  Great  Cathedral  or  Grand^  Choir;  and  surely,  no  wa- 
"  tional  church  could  ever  better  deserve  that  distinguished 
"  appellation."*  ^ : 

The  author  then  quotes  the  passage  from  Diodorus,  re- 
specting the  Hyperborean  temple  of  Apollo,  to  which  he 
adds  the  following  remark— '*  Such  is  the  account  given 
"  near  two  thousand  years  ago,  of  this  circular  temple,  for 
"  IT  COULD  MEAN  NO  OTHER,  by  Diodorus  the  Sicilian, 
"  from  a  writer  still  prior  in  time."f 

•  lod.  Antiq.  V.  VI.  p.  1S3. 
+  Ibid.  p.  13$. 


Mr.  Maurice,  in  the  next  place,  extracts  the  description 
■which  is  given  of  the  same  monument,  in  Mr.  Gough's 
edition  of  Camden  ;  and  these  are  his  remarks  upon  it. 

"  There  is  no  occasion  for  my  troubling  the  reader  with 
"  any  extended  observations,  on  these  accounts  of  Stone- 
'^  henge.  Whoever  has  read,  or  may  be  inclined  to  read 
"  my  history  of  oriental  archi|ecture,  as  connected  with 
"  the  astrononjical,  and  mythological  notions  of  the  anci- 
"  ents,  printed  in  the  third  volume  of  this  work — may  see 
"  most  of  the  assertions  realized,  in  the  form  and  arrange- 
"  ment  of  this  old  Di-uid  temple.  For,  in  the  first  place, 
"  it  is  circular,  as  it  is  there  proved,  all  ancient  temples  to 

"  the  Sun  and  Vesta- were.     In  the  second  place,  the 

"  Adytum  or  Sanctum  Sanctorum,  is  of  an  oval  form,  re- 
"  presenting  the  Mundane  egg,  after  the  manner  that  all 
"  those  adyta,  in  which  the  sacred  fire  perpetually  blazed^-— 
"  were  constantly  fabricated.  In  the  third  place,  the  situ- 
*'  ation  is  fixed  astronomically,  as  we  shall  make  fuUy  evi- 
"  dent  when  we  come  to  speak  of  Abury :  the  grand  en- 
"  trances,  both  of  this  tjemple,  and  that  superb  monument 
"  of  antiquity,  being  placed  exactly  North-east,  as  all  the 
"  gdies  or  portals  of  the  ancient  caverns,  and  cavern  temples 
"  were ;  especially  those  dedicated  to  Mithra,  that  is,  the 
"  sun,—'  ■ 

"■  In  the  fourth  place,  the  number  of  stones  and  uprights 
"  (in  the  outward  circle)  making  together,  exactly  «zjr/y, 
"  plainly  alludes  to  that  peculiar,  and  prominent  feature  of 

"  Asiatic  astronomy,  the  sexagenary   cycle while  the 

"  number  of  stones,  forming  the  minor  circle  of  the  cove, 
"  being  exactly  nineteen,  displays  to  us  the  famous  Metonic, 
"  or  rather  Indian  cycle;  and  that  of  thirty,   repeatedly 


•'  occurring,   the   celebrated  age,    or   generation  of  the 
":  Druids. 

"  Fifthly,  the  temple  being  uncovered,  proves  it  to  have 
"  been  erected  under  impressions,  similar  to  those  which 
"  animated  the  ancient  Persians,  virho  rejected  the  ini- 
"  pious  idea  of  confining  the  Deity-^within — an  inclosed 
"  shrine,  however  magnificent,  and  therefore,  consequently, 
"  at  all  events,  it  must  have  been  erected  before  the  age 
"  of  Zoroaster,  who  flourished  more  than  five  hundred 
"  years  before  Christ,  and  who  first  covered  in  the  Persian 
"  temples. 

"  And  finally,  the  heads  and  hortts  of  oxen  and  other 
"  animals,  found  buried  on  the  spot,  prove  that  the  san- 
"  guinary  rites,  peculiar  to  the  Solar  superstition — ^were 
"  actually  practised,  within  the  awful  bounds  of  this  hallowed 
"  circle."* 

I  have  omitted  a  few  clauses,  in  which  the  ingenious  au- 
thor derives  the  British,  immediately  from  the  Indian  su- 
perstition ;  partly  because  his  opinion  might  appear  to  dis- 
advantage, unsupported  by  the  arguments  which  are  ad- 
duced in  various  parts  of  this  dissertation ;  and  partly  be- 
cause I  have  some  kind  of  evidence,  that  what  was  exotic  in 
the  system  of  the'  Britons,  came  to  them  by  the  way  of 
Cornwall,  and  therefore  was  probably  derived  to  them  from 
the  Phoenicians.* 

Our  learned  author's  opinion  of  the  dignity  of  this  struc- 

•  Ind.  Antiq.  V.  VI.  p.  128. 
t  See  Sect.  5. 


tttre,  of  the  knowledge  of  astronomy  displayed  in  its  plan, 
and  of  its  destination  as  a  heatlien  temple,  I  should  suppose 
will  hardly  be  dispi^ted.  Yet  still,  those  gentlemen  who 
assert,  that  the  Druids  left  no  monuments  behind  them,  but 
their  venerated  oaks,  will  pertinaciously  contend,  that  no 
evidence  has  been  produced,  to  connect  the  design  of  this 
stupendous  ,pile,  with  the  national  superstition  of  the 

It  appears  to  me,  however,  that  considerable  evidence  of 
this  connection  does  exist ;  and  I  hope,  I  shall  not  perform 
an  unacceptable  office  to  the  public  in  bringing  it  forward. 

A  great  and  notorious  event,  namely,  the  massacre  of 
the  British  nobility  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Stonehenge, 
by  Hengist,  the  Saxon  king  of  Kent,  furnished  the  ancient 
British  writers  with  occasion,  for  the  frequent  mention  of 
this  venerable  pile. 

The  story  of  this  massacre  is  familiar  to  the  old  writers  of 
England  and  Wales ;  but  by  way  of  introduction  to  the  do- 
cuments which  I  rnean  to  produce,  it  may  be  proper  to 
insert  a  connected  account  of  its  circumstances,  from  a  mo- 
dern author  of  the  fornier  nation. 

Mr.  Warrington,  in  his  history  of  Wales,  relates  the 
transaction  in  this  manner. 

When  Hengist  and  his  Saxons  approached  the  British 
coast,  after  the  death  of  Vortimer,  they  found  that  the  in- 
habitants, under  the  command  of  Vortigern,  were  fully  de- 
termined to  oppose  their  landing.  Upon  this  occasion,  the 
Saxon  chief  had  recourse  to  an  expedient,  suggested  by 


liis  wily  and  fertile  imagination,  as  well  as  from  a  kriowledge 
of  the  people,  with  whom  he  had  to  act.  In  this  artifice, 
the  weakness  or  the  treachery  of  Vortigern  was  employed,. 
Hengist  sent  to  assure  that  monarch,  that  his  purpose  of 
coming  into  Britain  was  not  to  oifer  any  violence  to  the 
kingdom,  but  only  to  make  a  vigorous  opposition  against 
his  son  Vortimer,  whom  he  artfully  pretended,  he  thought 
to  have  been  alive. 

It  was  likewise  proposed  by  Hengist,  that  an  interview 
should  take  place  between  them,  and  that  each  of  the 
chiefs  should  meet  at  the  place  appointed,  attended  by  the 
most  eminent  of  his  train;  and  in  order  to.  banish  every 
idea  of  hostile  intention,  it  was  artfully  suggested  by  the 
Saxon,  that  both  parties  should  appear  without  their  arms. 
The  proposal  was  agreed  to  by  the  king ;  the  time  of  meet- 
ing was  fixed  for  the  May  following;  and  the  place  ap- 
pointed for  the  interview  was  at  Stonehenge,  upon  Salisbury 

In  the  meantime,  Hengist  having  assembled  his  chief- 
tains, laid  open  to  them  his  design,  that  under  the  colour  of 
meeting  the  Britons,  for  the  purposes  of  peace,  and  to 
establish  a  lasting  alliance,  he  intended  to  murder  the 
chiefs  who  should  attend  Vortigern  to  the  interview ;  that 
by  striking  so  decisive  a  blow,  he  might  cut  the  sinews  of 
futureresistance.  At  the  same  time  he  gave  orders,  that 
his  train,  who  attended  the  meeting,  should  carry  knives 
concealed  in  their  sleeVes;  that  when  the  signal  was  given, 
each  of  them  should  instantly  stab  the  person  who  sat  next 
to  him;  and  he  closed  this  infernal  order,  by  requiring 
them  to  behave  like  men,  and  to  shew  no  mercy  to  any 
jiierson,  but  to  the  king. 


Notwithstanding  the  many  proofs  the  Saxons  had  givert 
of  their  perfidy,  the  Britons,  with  a  degree  of  credulity/ 
peculiar  to  themselves,  fell  into  the  snare,  and  came  nn-' 
armed  to  the  place  appointed  for  the  interview;  where, 'hy 
the  contrivance  of  Hengist,  they  were  placed  with  hi» 
train,  alternately  at  the  tables,  under  the  pretence  of  con- 
fidence, and  of  a  friendly  intercourse  with  each  other. 

When  the  festivity  was  at  the  height,  and  probably,  in 
the  unguarded  inonifents  of  intoxication,  Hengist  gave  the 
signal  agreed  on — Take  your  Seaxes.  At  that  instant,  every 
Saxon  drew  out  his  knife,  and  plunged  it  into  the  bosom 
of  the  person  who  sat  next  to  him.  Above  three  hundred 
of  the  British  nobility,  the  most  eminent  for  their  talents, 
in  the  council  or  in  the  field,  perished  in  this  bloody  ca- 
rousal.— Vortigern  was  spared  in  the  general  carnage,  though 
detained  a  prisoner  by  Hengist ;  probably  with  no  other 
design,  than  as  a  cover  to  a  subsequent  act  of  the  British 
prince,  which  carries  with  it  a  strong  appearance  of  base- 
ness; for  in  order  to  obtain  his  liberty,  he  made  an  assign- 
ment to  the  Saxon  chief,  of  the  counties  of  Norfolk  and 
Sussex,  and  also  confirmed  him  in  the  possession  of  his  for- 
mer territories.* 

To  these  incidents  of  the  massacre,  many  old  writers  add 
the  exploit  of  Eidiol  or  Eidol,  a  British  prince,  who  had 
the"  good  fortune  to  escape.  His  character  is  recognized 
by  English  antiquaries,  who  call  him  Eldol  or  Edol,  and 
say  that  he  was  Earl  of  Gloucester,  in  the  year  46 1  .f 

»  Warrington's  Hist,  of  Wales,  lat  Edit.  p.  57. 

+  See  Dugdale's  Baronage,  p.  1,  witli  his  authority :  and  Gibson's  Camden, 
col.  287.    EaH  must  be  here  regarded  as  a  mere  translation  of  his  British 



Tlie  Triads  speak  of  this  Eidiol's  having  killed  an  incre- 
dible number  of  the  Saxons,  on  the  day  of  Hengist's  plot, 
with  a  quick-beam  truncheon.*  The  Welsh  chronicles  of 
Tyssilio  and  Geoffry,  which  in  this  sera,  may  be  allowed 
to  blend  some  true  history  with  their  fable,  limit  the  num- 
ber which  he  slew,  to  seventy  men.  But  these  annalists, 
finding  that  Eidiolwas  both  a  temporal  prince,  and  a  bishop, 
have  thought  proper  to  give  us  two  brothers  of  that  name, 
styling  one  of  them  Earl,  and  the  other  'Bisfiop  of  Glou- 
cester. This  must  be  a  mistake.  The  two  characters  were 
united  in  one  person,  and  I  conjecture,  that  this  person  was 
no  other  than  Emrys,  or  Amhrosius,  who  immediately  after 
the  massacre,  was  elevated  to  the  British  throne.  The  very 
same  actions  are  ascribed  to  Eidiol  and  to  Emrys,  such  as 
burying  the  British  nobles,  erecting  their  monument  at  Aui- 
bresbury,  taking  Hengist  prisoner  at  Caer  Gymn,  or  Co- 
ijisborow,  and  causing  him  to  be  beheaded.']-  If  this  Eidiol 
was  not  Ambrosius,  we  must  consider  him  as  the  great 
agent  and  counsellor  of  that  prince,  to  whom  his  actions 
were  consequently  ascribed, 

But  to  proceed.  It  were  not  to  be  expected,  that  the  circum- 
, stances  of  this  massacre,  so  menjiorable  in  the  history  of  our 
country,  should  be  passed  over  in  silence  by  the  Bards  of  the 
sixth  century.  Their  lamentations  upon  the  woeful  subject, 
are  frequent  and  pathetic.  Of  these,'  I  shall  produce  two  in- 
stances, which  wjU  fully  explain  the  light,  in  which  qui 

•  W.  Arehaiol.  V.  II.  p.  68. 

+  Compare  W.  ArchaioJ.  V.  II.  p.  255,  856—271—273,  with  Gibson's 
Camden,  Col.  847,  and  Warrington's  Hist,  of  Wales,  p.  64,  and  his  aulho- 

See  also  the  songs  of  the  Godo'dio,  in  the  sequel  of  this  section. 


remote    ancestors    contemplated   the  celebrated  fabric    of 
Stonehenge.    The  first  of  these  documents  is  the 

Song    of  CUHELYN.* 

Greid  bleid  blyghawd 
Gretyf  detyf  durawd 

Gnawd  brawdwriaeth 

Gwr  oet  Eiteol 
Gonvy  reol 

Gordetliol  doeth 

Gwyfch  vill  Dragon 
Gosparth  Brython 

Gosgyman  weith 

Gnawt  tryganet 
Gnawt  kyhidet 

Gorset  metveith 

Met  win  kyvran 
Marchauc  midlan 

Man  meidrolaeth. 

Medrit  mur  Ior 
*■  Maus  pedir  pedror 

Mawk  cor  kyvoeth. 

*  W.  Atchaiol.  p.  164.  In  the  table  of  contents,  it  is  ascribed  to  a  Bard  of 
the  eighth  eentury  ;  but  in  Mr.  Owen's  Com.  Biog^  more  accnrately,  to  Cu- 
helyn  the  son  of  Caw,  about  tl>e  middle  of  the  sixth  cmtury. 


Moes  breisc  vreyr 
Moes  wiith  vehir 

Milwr  orwyth. 

Maer  claer  kywid 
Mad  cathyl  kyvid 
Moidit  ieith. 

Mas  cas  nognaw 
Maer  antedawg  i'  I 

Maredawg  doeth. 

Medel  visci 
Mel  vartoni 

Mynogi  gwyth. 

Myn  vinad  vron 
Medw  mal  ton  "  ' 

M.or  tros^draeth. 

Mer  kerteu  kein 
Myvir  corein 

Mirein  Anoeth, 

Menestir  Vytud 
Meuet  vedud 

Molud  esmwyth. 

Music  a  gan 
Mal  eur  orian 

Man  vyhanieth. 

Gweith  reith  rysset 


Gwich  ruich  rywet 
Rinwet  Reen. 

Rec  rysiolav 
Rec  a  aichav 

Ruymav  Virchen. 

Rhuthyr  uthyr  awe! 
Rynaut  uvel 

Ryvel  febin. 

Ruteur  dyrlyt 
Rychlut  clotryt 

Rihit  adien 

Reuvet  parawd 
Rin  vyn  wascaw4 

Tra  gwawd  wobrin, 

Ry  hait  itawt 
Rycheid^  y  najvt 

Rac  kawt  gelyn, 

Rychetwis  detyf  ,^ 

Rychwynis  gretyf 

Rae  lletyf  Ogyrven, 

Rae  dac  drossot 
Reghit  brid  bod 

Rot  Cuhelin, 

Of  this  poem,  the  following  is  as  close  a  translation,  as 
the  concise  and  obscure  language  of  the  Bard  will  admit. 


Darkening  was  the  sullen  wrath  of  the  wolf,*  naturally 
addicted  to  the  law  of  steel,  his  accustomed  rule  of  decisioti. 

At  the  time  when  the  brave  Eidiol  was  presiding  in  the 
circle,  a  man  eminently  distinguished  for  wisdoip : 

Then  the  chief,  having  malice  in  his  designs  against  the 
Britons,  made  with  them  a  pretended  compact. 

A  proclamation  was  issued,  inviting  equal  numbers  to  a 
conference  at  a  banquet  of  mead. 

The  mead  and  wine  are  distributed  by  the  knighf  of  the 
inclosure,  at  the  appointed  spot  : 

And  the  spot  appointed,  was  in  the  precinct  of  Idi" ;  in 
the  fair  quadrangular  area  of  the  gkeat  sangtua^y  of 


To  indulge  the  brawny  chief— to  indulge  him  whose  vir- 
tue was  the  rushing  of  spears,  the  warrior,  supreme  ii^ 

The  illustrious  chief  of  song  raises  the  munificent  strain 
in  the  language  of  panegyric : 

But  death  was  the  hateful  reward  of  the  indwelling  chief 
of  song,  magnificent  and  wise. 

The  reaping  blade  confounded  the  honied  strain  of  Bar^ 
(dism  with  the  gratification  of  fury : 

*  ffengitti  a:  it  >9  fully  evident  from  tbe  subsetjueot  passages. 


The  breast,  intent  upon  violence,  rages  like  the  dtunken 
wave  of  the  sea,  tumbling  over  the  strand: 

It  overwhelms  the  pleasing  strains>  the  study  of  the  ch'cle, 
the  fair  circle  of  Anoetk, 

Thus, ,  the  minister  of  BvMud,  possessing  the  talent  to 
rehearse  the  gentle  song  of  praise, 

,    Chaunted  his  music,  like  a  golden  hymn,  on  the  area  of 

But  it  was  the  battle  of  sudden  asSattlt— of  the  dreadful, 
bursting  shriek — the  mystetibus  purpose  of  the  chief. 

Who  eixclaimed  with  a  curse — "  I  will  rush  forth" — with 
an  execration — "  I  will  command!  I  wiU  bind  the  so- 
vereign : 

"  Like  the  sudden  bttr&tiilg  of  a  dreadful  gale,  blow  ye 
','  up. the  conflagration  of  war  against  the  youthful  heroes. 

"  The  flaming  gold  will  he  merit,  who  overwhelms  the 
"  ^renowned ;  and  he  shall  be  defended  blameless : 

"  Here  is  aflSuence  provided  for  us  : — the  purpose  of  my 
"  mind  is  a  protection  from  the  obloquy  of  the  enterprise !" 

Pre-eminent  was  his  merit,  who  strove  to  protect  the 
sanctuary  from  the  violence  of  the  foe. 

He  did  preserve  the  institute,  though  nature  groaned 
indignant  before  the  gentle  goddess. 


Instead  of  a  tear  shed  over  him,  may  his  soul  be  gratified 
with  this  tribute  of  Cuhelin ! 

When  the  descriptions  in  this  ancient  poem  are  atten- 
tively compared  with  the  incidents  of  the  massacre  perpe- 
trated by  Hengist,  I  think  no  doubt  can  remain  as  to  the 
particular  event  of  history  to  which  the  Bard  refers. 

Cuhelyn's  design  is  clearly  a  tribute  of  respect  to  the 
memory  of  Eidiol,  whose  history  is  invariably  connected 
with  that  of  the  Saxon  chief.  He  is  here  described  as  high 
priest,  or  president  of  the  sacred  circle,  and  as  knight  of  the 
inclosure,  who  distributed  the  liquor  at  the  feast,  and  after- 
wards preserved  the  sanctuary. 

I  shall  presently  shew,  that  each  of  these  particulars  is 
fully  confirmed  by  the  strains  of  Aneurin ;  from  which  we 
also  learn,  that  the  feast  was  celebrated,  and  the  horrid 
deed  perpetrated,  in  a  suite  of  temporary  buildings,  upon 
the  Ystre,  or  Cursus.,  into  which  one  of  the  avenues  leads 
from  the  great  temple.  "  This  (Cursus)  is  half  a  mile 
"  North  from  Stonehenge,  ten  thousand  feet,  or  two  miles 
"  long,  inclosed  by  two  ditches,  three  hundred  and  fifty 
"  feet  asunder."  *  Here  was  the  precinct  of  Idr,  the  fair 
quadrangular  area  of  the  great  sanctuary  of  the  dominion, 
lor  is  a  name  sometimes  applied  to  the  Supreme  Being,  but 
borrowed  from  British  mythology,  where  it  seems  to  have 
meant  the  sun — moving  within  his  orbit,  or  circle. 

•  Ind.  Antiq.  Vol.  VI.  p, 


Both  in  name  and  character,  this  British  divinity  seems 
to  be  closely  alHed  to  the  Orus  of  Egypt,  "  The  supposed 
"  son  of  Isis,  who  was  an  emblem  of  the  ark,  that  recep- 
"  tacle,  which  was  styled  the  mother  of  mankind.  He  is 
"  represented  as  undergoing,  from  the  Titans,  all  that 
"  Osiris  suffered  from  Typhon  ;  and  the  history,  at  the  hot- 
"  tom,  is  the  same.  Hence  it  is  said  of  Isis,  that  she  had 
"  the  power  of  making  people  immortal;  and  that,  when 
"  she  found  her  son  Orus  in  the  midst  of  the  waters,  dead 
"  through  the  malice  of  the  Titans,  she  not  only  gave 
"  him  a  renewal  of  life,  but  also  conferred  upon  him  im- 
"  mortality,"* 

"  Both  Oriis  and  Osiris  were  styled  Heliadae,  and  often 
*'  represented  as  the  sun  himself."  f. 

The  identity  of  Ceridwen  and  Isis,  as  to  general  cha- 
racter, has  been  already  shewn ;  and  as  we  find,  that  the 
former  was  present  in  this  circle  by  the  name  of  Lieddv, 
Ogyrven,  the  gentle  goddess,  so  lor  seems  to  h^ve  been  a 
name  of  her  recovered  son,  Avagddu, 

Geoffry  of  Monmouth's  Choir  Gaur,  or  more  accuratelj', 
C6r  Gawr,  the  great  circle,  or  sanctuary,  has  been  often 
quoted  by  antiquaries,  as  the  British  name  of  this  fabric 
of  Stonehenge.  In  this  poem  of  Cuhelyn,  we  have  not 
only  Manor  Cor,  which  is  exactly  synonymous  with  the 
other,  but  Mawr  Cor  Cyvoeth,  the  great  circle,  or  sanctuary 
of  the  dominion,  implying  its  pi'erogative,  as  the  metropo- 
litan temple  of  the  Britons ;  which  fully  comes  up  to  the 
idea  of  Dr.  StuTceley  and  Mr.  Maurice, 

•  Bryant's    Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  327,  330. 
t  Ibid,  p,  394. 


That  a  heathen  tenl{)le  should  be  deemed  to  retain  stich  a 
J)rerogative  in  the  middle  of  the  fifth  century,  must  be 
regarded  as  a  singular  fact;  But  the  populace  of  Britain 
had  not  hitherto  been  radically  converted  from  their  na- 
tional superstition ;  and  in  this  age,  pelagianism,  which 
blended  much  of  that  superstition  with  a  few  shreds  of 
Christianity,  was  very  prevalent  amongst  them. 

Aneurin,  as  well  as  our  present  author,  speaks  of  the 
murder  of  a  Bard,  as  the  first  act  of  open  outrage  com- 
mitted at  the  feast.  This  victim  is  here  described  as  in- 
dteelling,  or  resident  in  the  temple.  He  is  styled  the  illus- 
trious president  of  song,  and  the  minister  of  Buddud,  the 
same,  I  presume,  as  Buddug,  the  goddess  of  victory. 

Upon  the  whole,  we  have,  in  this  little  poem,  a  full  ac- 
knowledgement of  the  dignity  of  the  venerable  pile  of 
Stonehenge,  and  a  direct  testimony  of  its  consecration  to 
several  known  objects  of  superstition,  amongst  the  heathen 
Britons.  ' 

I  must  now  hasten  to  prepare  the  reader  for  the  other 
British  document,  which  I  promised  upon  the  same  sub- 
jecti  This  is  no  other  than  the  celebrated  Gododin,  a  work 
of  £^bout  nine  hundred  lines,  composed  by  Aneurin,  a  'Nor- 
thumbrian Briton.  It  will  be  necessary  to  introduce  this 
work,  with  some  prefatory  observations. 

Mr.  Turner,  in  his  Vindication,  has  fully  ascertained  the 
facts,  that  such  a  Bard  as  Aneurin  did  live  between  the 
years  500  and  600,  and  that  the  Gododin  is  his  genuine 
production.  The  great  antiquary,  Edward  Llwyd,  dates  the 
composition,  An.  510. 


An  historical  poem  of  that  age,  composed  by  an  indivi- 
dual of  a  British  tribe,  which  for  a  thousand  years  has 
ceased  to  exist,  may  surely  he  deemed  in  itself  a  subject  of 
curiosity.  This  circumstance,  together  with  the  high  im- 
portance which  the  English  antiquaries  attach  to  the  struc- 
ture of  Stonehenge,  will,  I  trust,  apologize  for  the  neces- 
sary length  of  the  present  iarticle. 

The  name  of  the  Gododin  is  not  new  to  the  public.  Se- 
veral ti'anslated  specimens  of  it  have  appeared,  and  some  of 
these  allured  the  lofty  muse  of  Grai/.  The  work  has  been 
pronotlnced  a  noble  heroic  poem,  and  the  subject  is  said  tO' 
have  been  a  disastrous  action,  in  which  the  author  himself 
bore  a  part.  But  the  work  has  been  celebrated,  more  than 
studied.  Not  one  of  its  admirers,  that  I  know  of,  has  at- 
tempted to  identify  the  event,  which  constitutes  its  prin- 
cipal subject;  or  has  even  suspected  that  it  alludes  to  the 
actions  of  Hengist,  or  to  the  massacre  at  Stonehenge :  so 
that  I  must  either  establish  my  proposition,  that  sucli  is  the 
main  business  of  the  poem,  or  else  expect  some  severe  chas- 
tisement from  the  modern  critics  of  my  country. 

For  the  imperfection  of  the  view  which  has  hitherto  been 
taken  of  this  work,  I  may  account  upon  many  scores.  The 
poem  is  ancient,  and  wholly  unattended  with  explanatory 
notes.  The  subject  has  not  much  local  connexion  with  the 
affairs  of  Wales,  and  consequently  has  excited  but  little 
inquiry  amongst  the  natives,  the  only  people  who  under- 
stand the  language  of  the  Bard.  Tlie  orthography  is  ob- 
solete ;  and  the  author's  dialect  had  some  original  variation 
from  that  of  any  Welsh  tribe.  The  Bard  seldom  introduces 
the  proper  names  of  his  heroes ;  but,  as  it  is  usual  in  popu- 
lar songs,  and  especially  political  songs,  composed  in  trou- 


blesome  times,  generally  describes  them  by  characteristical 
epithets,  which,  however,  obvious  they  may  have  been  in 
the  days  of  the  author,  are  now  become  much  less  so  by 
the  lapse  of  ages.  All  these  circumstances  conspire  to  draw 
a  veil  of  obscurity  over  a  work,  which  is  viewed  through 
the  medium  of  thirteen  centuries.  And  this  obscurity  is 
abundantly  increased  by  the  bad  preservation  of  the  text. 
Of  this,  no  greater  proof  need  be  given,  than  a  mere 
exhibition  of  the  various  readings,  which  nearly  equal  the 
number  of  lines. 

These,  for  the  most  part,  are- only  orthographical.  They 
seem  to  have  arisen  from  the  misapprehension  of  the  cha- 
racters, or  letters,  of  some  o»e  copy,  which  was  either  anti- 
quated or  defaced.  But  this  supposed  original  of  the 
modern  transcribers,  was  evidently  imperfect;  for  all  the 
known  copies  agree  in  exhibiting  certain  passages  in  mere 
fraginfsnts,  without  connection  of  sense  or  metre. 

Such  are  the  reasons  why  the  Gododin  has  not  hitherto 
been  translated  entire,  or  even  perfectly  understood. 

But  where  am  I  to  ground  my  own  pretensions,  as  an 
interpreter  of  this  difficult  work  ?  I^can  only  say,  in  answer 
to  this  query,  that  over  and  above  the  share  which  the  Gof 
dodin  has  obtained  in  my  general  attention  to  the  Bards,  I 
have  had  occasion  to  transcribe  the  whole  three  times  over ; 
and  once  very  lately,  from  a  good  copy  on  vellum,  written 
apparently  about  the  year  1200,  and  which  was'not  used  by 
the  editors  of  the  Archaiqlogia.  I  have  also  reduced  all 
the  author's  words  into  alphabetical  ordef,  with  a  reference 
to  the  lines  in  which  they  occur.  This  labour  rendered 
Aneurin's  expressions  and  phrases  familiar  to  me,  gave  me 
a  facility  in  comparing  part  with  part,  and  suggested  a 


fefefetice,  whenever  I  met  with  a  passage  in  any  othfii' 
Bard,  which  seemed  to  hear  upon  the  suhject  of  the  Go- 
dodin.  And  as  all  the  parts  of  the  work  are  not  equally 
obscure,  I  now  began  to  understand  passages  of  consider-' 
able  length,  and  to  fix  some  leading  marks,  as  so  many 
clues  to  the  investigation  of  the  general  subject. 

Thus  prepared,  I  went  over  the!  whole  Gododin,  line  by 
line,  with  Mr.  Owen's  Dictionary  at  ipy  elbow,  setting 
down  the  literal  construction,  as  nearly  as  it  could  be  ob- 
tained, however  incoherent  it  might  appear.  And  in  re- 
vising my  papers,  I  plainly  perceived,  that  this  Work  can- 
not be  regarded  as  a  single  poem,  composed  upon  any  one 
determinate  plan ;  but  that,  on  the  contrary,  it  consists  of  a 
Series  of  short  detached  songs,  relating  principally  to  one 
great  subject,  which  is  taken  up  and  dismissed  in  one  of 
those  detached  parts,  and  again  resumed  in  another.  This 
discrimination  agrees  with  the  title  of  the  work,  in  the  very 
ancient  copy  upon  vellum,  described  by  Edward  Llwyd,* 
where  it  is  called  Y  Godadynne,  in  the  plural  number — The 
Gododins.  In  the  preface  to  the  Incantation  of  Cynvelyn, 
and  of  Maelderw,i-  this  work  is  described  as  a  series  of 
Odleu  a  Chanuau,  odes  and  soil gs ;  and  it  is  intimated,  that 
they  originally  amounted  to  tri  chanu  a  thriugaint  a  thn- 
chant,  363  songs.  In  the  old  and  valuable  copy,  lately 
communicated  tome  by  my  excellent  friend,  Mr.  Jones,  J 
what  now  remains  of  the  work  is  divided  into  ninety-four 
parts,  ornamented  with  large  initials,  in  green  and  red 
alternately.     And  the  idea  of  the  detached  nature  of  these 

"  ArcliSEol.  Britan.  p.  262. 
+  W.  Arclmiol.  V.  I.  p.  61. 
$^The  learned  author  of  the  History  of  Brecknockshire. 


songs,  is  confirmed  by,  the  author  himself,  who  tells  us, 
that  it  was  his  custT)m  to  compose  a  Cenig,  sonnet,  or  shoit 
song  of  the  Gododin,  to  amuse  the  nightly  horrors  of  a 
solitary  prison. 

I  also  perceived  that  the  great  catastrophe,  which  the 
13ard  deplores  in  most  of  the  remaining  songs,  was  not,  as 
it  has  been  generally  represented,  the  fall  of  360  nobles  in 
the  f  eld  of  battle,  to  which  they  had  rushed  forth  in  a  state 
,  of  intoxication,'  hut  the  massacre  of  360  unarmed  British 
nobles,  in  time  of  peace,  and  at  a  feast,  where  they  had  been 
arranged  promiscuously  with  armed  Saxons. 

An  event  of  this  kind  cannot  be  supposed  to  have  whplly 
escaped  the  notice  of  history :  yet  it  is  clear,  that  neither  his- 
tory nor  tradition,  whether  British  or  Saxon,  has  preserved 
the  slightest  hint  of  any  such  thing  having  happened  in  this 
island  in  the  sixth  century,  or  in  any  other  period  of  the 
British  annals,  excepting  in  one  instance,  namely,  the 
massacre  of  the  Britons  at  Stonehenge,  about  the  year  472. 

The  memory  of  this  event  is  familiar  to  the  historians  of 
both  nations ;  and  we  shall  find  by  the  sequel,  that  the 
Bard  confirms  most  of  the  incidents  which  have  been  re- 
corded. This  is,  therefore,  the  identical  catastrophe  which 
Aneurin  deplores. 

But  will  this  decision  correspoiid  with  the  age  of  Aneurin? 

The  Bard  represents  himself  as  having  beep  present  at 
the  bloody  spectacle ;  and  Edward  Llwyd  refers  the  era  of  the 
Gododin  to  the  year  510,  and  this,  probably,  upon  the 
authority  of  the  ancient  MS.  which  be  quotes  in  the  ^ame 
passage.    . 


Here  is  no  discordance  of  dates,  which  may  not  he  fairly 
reconciled.  There  is  no  improbability  in  Aneurin's  having' 
attended  the  feast,  as  a  young  Bard,  in  472,  and  his  having 
bewailed  the  friends  of  his  youth  thirty-eight  years  after- 
wards, when,  as  an  old,  unfortunate  warrior,  he  had  fallen 
iato  the  hands  of  the  foe,  and  was  confined  in  a  dreary 
dungeon.  < 

And  indeed,  it  appears  evidently  from  the  face  of  the 
work,  that  the  events  which  the  Bard  commemorates,-  had 
preceded  the  date  of  the  composition  by  a  long  interval  of 
years;  for  he  supports  the" credit  of  the  circumstaficefs  which 
he  details— by  the  relation  of  a  Briton,  who  had  escaped — 
by  the  particulars  which  were  known  to  Taliesin — by  the 
oral  testimony  of  some  old  chiefs— and  by  the  authority  of 
certain  songsj  which  had  been  composed  upon  the  occasion. 
'  He  also  touches  upon  the  affairs  of  those  eventful  times, 
which  had  succeeded  the  fatal  feast.  So  that,  upon  the 
whole,  it  is  cleai-,  that  an  internal  of  thirty  or  forty  years 
must  have  elapsed  between  the  woful  subject  of  Aneurin's 
songs,  and  the  date  of  their  composition. 

When  we  have  made  due  allowance  for  this  interval,  we 
must  necessarily  carry  back  tlie  catastrophe,  which  the 
Bard  deplores,  from  the  date  of  the  composition  in  510, 
into  the  age  of  Hengist,  and  fix  it,  with  the  greatest  ap- 
pearance of  accuracy,  at  the  era  of  the  celebrated  massacre 
at  Stonehenge.  And  to  the  circumstances  which  history 
records  of  this  event,  the  allusions  of  the  Bard  so  precisely 
and  exclusively  apply,  that  it  is  impossible  to  refer  them  to 
any  othfer  event. 

This  is  my  decided  opinion.  I  foresee,  however,  a  few 
objections,  which  it  may  be  proper  to  obviate.      • 

It  will  be  asked — Why  has  not  the  Bard  mentioned 
Hengist^  and  his  British  partizans,  by  mmef  To  this  it 
may  be  answered,  that  Aneurin,  at  the  time  wheii  he  com- 
posed most  of  his  songs,  was  a  prisoner  of  war  in  the  hands 
of  the  Saxons.  The  introduction  of  names  might  have 
subjected  him  to  personal  danger :  he  therefore  chose  the 
safer  way  of  gratifying  his  resentment,  by  giving  such  bold 
hint^  of  the  affairs,  and  the  individuals  to  which  he  alluded, 
that  they  could  not  be  mistaken  ;  and  fhis  method  afforded 
him  an  opportunity  of  paiiiting  his  indignation  more  for- 
cibly, by  sarcastic  epithets,  than  he  could  have  done  it  by 
explicit  attacks  upon  the  person  of  Hengist. 

Against  the  locality  of  Aneulrin's  subject,  as  referred  to 
the  temple  of  Stonehenge,  it  may  be  objected,  that  the 
term  Gododin,  in  Nennius,  implies  the  region  of  the  Otta" 
dini,  between  the  rampart  of  Antonine,  and  the  wall  of 
Severus :  whilst  in  several  passages  of  this  poetn,  we  find 
that  Gododin  means  the  same  as  Gatti'aeth,  the  place  where 
the  nobles  assembled  at  the  feast,  and  where  they  fell. 

This  is  certainly  an  ambiguity ;  and  it  was  probably  in- 
tended as  such,  for  the  same  prudential  reason  which  I  have 
mentioned  above.  But  if  we  attend  to  the  composition, 
and  the  actual  application  of  the  name,  we  shall  find  that  it 
furnished  a  fair  opportunity  for  a  double  interpretation. 

Godo  is  a  partial  covering,  and  Din  a  fence  or  outwork 
As  applied  to  the  region  of  the  Ottadini,  it  means  that  dis 
triot  which  is  partly  covered  or  protected  by  the  Northern 
rampart;  and  the  word  is  equally  descriptive  of  the  British 
temples  or  sanctuaries,  which  were  open  at  top,  yet  pro- 
tected by  »  surrounding  rampart  or  bank. 

y  2 


And  that  the  name  of  Godo  was  actually/  appropriated  to 
these  temples,  we  have  ah-eady  seen,  in  treating  of  the  fa- 
mily of  the  British  Ceres :  for  Seithin  Saidi,  Jamts  or 
Saturn,  the  representative  of  the  patriarch,  is  styled  Por- 
thawr  Godo,  the  guardian  of  the  gate  of  Godo,  or  the  unco- 
vered  sanctuary. 

Cattraeth,  or,  according  to  the  older  orthography,  Ca- 
traith,  is  liable  to  the  same  ol^jection,  and  admits  of  the 
same  solution.  This  name  has  some'  similarity  to  Cataiick, 
near  Richmond,  in  Yorkshire,  the  Cataracton  of  the  an- 
cients. Yet  it  is  not  h^tice  to  be  suspected,  that  by  Go- 
dodin  and  Cattraeth,  our  author  meant  to  point  out  an 
OUadinian  town  of  that  name ;  for  Cataracton  was  not 
within,,  or  very  near  the  borders  of  the  Ottadini;  so  that 
some  other  meaning  must  be  sought. 

Ill  the  preceding  section,  to  which  I  have  just-referred, 
it  is  remarked,  that  the  same  Seithin  Saidi  bad  .a  son,  named 
Cadeiriaith,  the  language  of  the  chair  or  presidency ;  and 
also  Cadraith  or  Catraith,  which  seems  to  be  only  a  con- 
traction of  the  former.  This  mythological  character  cer- 
tainly represents  the  laws,  &c.  of  the  Druids,  pronounced 
from  the  chair  of  presidency,  or  Bardic  cathedral,  hence 
figuratively  applied  to  the  great  temple  itself.  And,  from 
many  passages  of  Aneurin's  work,  it  is  evident  that  this  is 
the  precise  import  of  his  Catraith. 

Having,  as  I  have  already  stated,  oblaiued  such  a  ge- 
neral view  of  the  nature  and  subject  of  the  Gododin;  as 
enabled  me  to  estimate  th,e  value  of  most  of  the  various 
readings,  I  sat  down  patiently  to  re-translate  the  whole 
as  closely  as  possible,  without  sacrificing  perspicuity  to  the 
mere  jdiom  of  my  author,  and  with  the  most  minute  atten- 


tion  to  Mr.  Owen's  explanation  of  obsolete  words,  even  in 
those  passages  which  seemed  most  intelligible.  And,  I 
think,  I  have  made  out  Aneurin's  meaning  with  tolerable 
clearness,  considering  the  nature  of  the  work,  and  the  state 
of  the  copy  ;  though  it  may  be  admitted  as  probable,  that 
a  careful  examination  of  our  original  historians  would  re- 
flect some  additional  light  upon  several  passages. 

I  bad  some  thoughts  of  adding  the  British  text,  as  accu- 
rately as  it  can  be  obtained,  from  a  collation  of  the  various 
copies  ;  but  as  it  is  of  considerable  length,  I  have  omitted 
it,  in  compassion  to  the  English  reader. 

The  division  of  the  songs  in  this  work,  was  the  result  of 
my  own  observation  and  conjecture  ;  and  therefore,  though 
it  be  generally  confirmed  by  Mr.  Jones's  ancient  copy,  I 
submit  it  to  the  censure  of  the  critical  reader,  who,  by  pass- 
ing over  that  division,  may  read  the  Gododin  as  one  entire 




"  GEEDvr  GWK  OED  GWAs."* — W.  Archaiol.  p.  1. 

Aneurim  commemorates  the  young  Bard,  his  Associate, 
whom  Hengist  had  slain  at  the  Feast.  See  the  Poem  of 
Cuhelyn,  in  the  former  Part  of  the  Section,  and  No.  l6 
and  25,  of  the  present  Series. 

Manly  was  the  soul  of  the  youths  whose  merit  I  record 
with  sorrow.  A  swift  thick-maned  steed  was  under  the 
thigh  of  the  fair  youth.  His  shield,  light  and  broad, 
hung  upon  the  slender  courser.  His  blue  and  unspotted 
taeapon  was  the  assuager  of  tumult.-f- 

With  me  shall  remain  no  hatred  towards  thee.  I  will  do 
better  for  thee — in  poetry  will  I  praise  thee.  The  floor 
will  be  stained  with  blood,  before  thou  shalt  enjoy  the  genial 

.  •  Gredyf  gwr  oed  gwast^ 

Gwthyt  a'm  dias. 

t  The  clean  weapon  of  the  Bard,  like  the  Hasta  Pura  of  the  Romans,  seemj 
to  have  been  an  emblem  of  peace. — The  Bards  were  regarded  as  heralds  of 
peace. — See  song  25,  where  this  Bard  is  iatroduQed  by  the  name  of  Oicf  R« 

For  Ethy  aur  a  Plmn,  I  read 

jjAjiwr  Aphan, 



feast.    The  raven  shall  have  his  food,  before  thou  wilt  lift 
the  hostile  spear,  O  Owen,  my  dear  companion ! 

There  is  sorrow  in  the  plain,  where  the  son  of  Marro  was, 
slaughtered ! 


"    CAEAWC    CYNHAIAWC." — p.  }. 

The  Bard  descants  upon  the  Manners  of  Hengist,  and  touches 
upon  some  Particulars  of  the  Plot,  which  he  appears  to 
have  concerted,  in  Part,  zeith  Vortigern,  the  British  King. 

Adokned  with  his  wreath,*  the  chief  of  the  rustics  an- 
nounced, that  upon  his  arrival,  unattended  by  his  host,  and 
in  the  presence  6f  the  Maid,-f  he  w<?uld  give  the  mead ; 
but  he  would  strike  the  front  of  his  shield,:]:  if  he  heard  the 
din  of  war,  and  to  those  whom  he  pursued,  he  would  give ' 
no  quarter. 

But  against  those  who  would  not  retreat  fronj.  battle,  till 
their  blood  flowed  like  -rivulets — against  the  hproes  who 

*  Caeawc,  wearing  a  wreath — ^This  was  a  wreath  of  amber  beids,  as  appears 
from  the  subsequent  paragraphs,  which  also  prove  that  the  Bard  means  Hengist. 
I  recollect  no  authority  for  ascribing  wreaths  of  amber  to  the  native  Britons; 
but  the  costume  appears  upon  many  of  the  old  Saxou  coins,  published  by 

+  B&a,  the  maid,  a  name  of  Llywy,  the  British  Proserpine,  at  whose  festivals 
contention  and  tumult  were  deemed  sacrilegious.    See  song  35. 

i  The  phrase,  Twl  tal  y  rodawc  repeatedly  occurs.  It  has  been  translated, 
"  the  front  of  whose  shield  was  pierced;"  but  it  evidently  implies,  mahing  a 
lignal,  by  striking  the  shield. 


would  not  give  way,  he  cherished  a  dark  resentment.  The 
man  of  Gododin,  upon  his  return  before  the  tents  of  Ma- 
dawc,  has  reported  but  one  man  in  a  hundred,  who  escaped 
from  the  hand  of  theVater-dw^Uer.* 

Adorned  with  his  wreath,  the  chief  of  the  halberds  which 
oppress  the  natives,  like  an  eagle,  rushed  into  our  harbours 
when  invited.f  His  compact  J  took  effect.  His  signal^ 
was  duly  observed.  He  had  devised,  a  better  stratagem.  || 
Here,  his  party  did  not  shrink,  though  they  had  fled  before 
the  army  of  Gododin.^  The  water-dweller  boldly  invites 
us  to  a  mixed  assembly,  where  neither,  spear  nor  shield** 

was  to  be  admitted "  Thus   there  could   be  no   strife 

"  amongst  the  jovial  company :  the  heroes  would  be  pre- 
"  served  from  a  sudden  stroke." 

Adorned  with  a  wreath  was  the  leader  of  the  sea-drifted 

*  The  -Bard  describes  the  Saxons,  in  this  ^ork,  by  several  terms,  which  im- 
ply sea  rovers.     Ar  law  'r  Morctei, 

+  The  Saxons  were  invited,  the  first  time,  by  Vortigern,  and  afterwards  by 


t  The  compact  of  a  friendly  meeting,  proposed  by  Hengist. 

f  The  signal  for  a  general  massacre  of  the  unsuspecting  British  nobles. 

11  His^7'st  stratagem  was  the  marriage  of  his  daughter ;  his  better  stratagenii 
tlie.  massacre. 

<[]■  That  is,  before  the  forpes  qf  A^ortimer,  a  votary  of  Godo,  the  BritisK 

**  The  Bard  continually  reminds  us,,  that  the  Britons  had  neither  offensive 
nor  defensive  arms.  In  song,  27,  he  mentions  the  ple<i  of  the  Saxons,  for  the 
exclusion  of  shields-. — That  there  might  be  a  clear  space  to  light  the  area.  The 
conclusion  of  this  paragraph,  contains  a  suggestion  of  liengist,  which  is  well 
explained  by  Mr.  Wiirrington,  p.  59.  "  And  in  order  to  banish  pveiy  idea 
"  of  hdsiilc  hilention,  it  was  artfully  suggested  by  the  Saxon,  that  both  par- 
'•  ties  should  appear  without  tli^jr  ^rms." 


wolves:*  andof  amberwas  that  wreatli  which  twined  about  his 
temples.  Precious  was  the  amber  which  could  merit  such  a 
feast.  The  haughtyf  chief  excludes  men  of  a  humble  station, 
though  Gwymdd  and  the  'North  might  have  come  to  his 
share,  with  the  concurrence  of  the  son  of  partition;]: — the 
prince  with  the  broken  shield. 

The  leader,  adorned  with  his  wreath,  is  armed  like  a 
hefo.  The  general  mark  of  his  vengeance  is  the  man  who 
had  been  firm  in  the  bloody  field ;  but  the  part  which  he 
selects  for  himself,  is  to  give  the  first  thrust  to  the  conduc-r 
tor  of  the  host,l|  before  whose  blades  five  bands  had  fallen— 
even  of  the  dreadful  men  of  Deira  and  Bernicia,  twenty 
hundred  had  perished  in  an  hour.§  And  as  food  for  wolves 
is  sooner  provided  than  a  nuptial  feast ;  as  ravens  may  be 
furnished  with  prey,  before  the  funeral  bier  arrive ;  so  the 
blood  of  our  hero  stains  the  floor  before  he  lifts  the  spear : 

•  Kaeawc  kynliorawc  bleid  e  maraii — Mr.  Jones'  MS.  "  Adorned' with  his 
"  wreath  was  the  chief,  even  thfe  wolf  of  the  holme,"  i.  e.  Thanet. 

+  None  but  men  of  the  most  distinguished  rank  and  character  were  admitted 
to  the  fatal  banquet.  And  of  those,  the  heroes  who  had  fought  under  Vor- 
timer,  were  especially  selected  for  destruction,  by  the  united  treachery  of 
Vortigern  and  Hengist.'  These  were  the  great  objects  of  resentment  to  both 
parties.  The  British  King  regarded  them  as  the  supporters  of  a  rebellious  son; 
and  they  had  expelled  the  Saxon  from  the  Island  of  Britain. 

%  Vortigern,  who  had  divided  his  kingdom  with  Hengist. 

II  Cynqd,  y w  y  gwr  gwrd  eg  gwyawr ; 
Cynran,,  yn  racwan  racbydinawr. 

$  The  Scots  and  Picts  united  their  forces  with  the  Saxons,  who  were  sta- 
tioned in  the  North ;  and  their  combined  army  was  beaten  by  the  lieutensats 
of  Vortimer.  ,.  Wairington,  with  his  authorities,  p.  52,  53. 


yet  the  lofty  Kyneid*  sh^ll  be  reaovvned,  whilst  a  single 
^ard  remains. 



The  Bard  deplores  the  Fate  of  the  Heroes,  who  had  fallen  at 
the  Feast,  and  touches  upon  some  of  the  great  Actions 
which  they  ha4  performed  under  Vortimer. 

The  heroes  vs^ent  to  Gododin  cheerful  and  sprightly, 
whilst  he,  the  bitter  \yarrior,  was  disposing  his  blades -f  in 
order.  A  short  season  of  peace  had  they  enjoyed.  J  The 
son  of  Botgat\  gave  them  flattering  language — his  hand 
explained  the  meaning !  They  should  have  gone  to  churches 
to  do  penance — the  old  and  the  young,  the  bold  and  the 
powerful — the  inevitable  strife  of  death  is  piercing  them-jl 

The  heroes  Went  to  Gododin — The  insulting  chief  kindled 

*  The  Man  of  Kent — Pfobably  the  British  Prince  whom  Voftigern  hajj 
dispossessed  of  his  domiinons,  to  make  room  fov  Ucngist.  This  chief  is  in- 
trtiduced  again,  under  the  name  of  TudvwlcJi. 

+  The  Seaxes,  which  Hengist's  part^  privately  wore  at  the  feast. 

if  From  the  expulsion  of  the  Saxons  by  Vortimer,  to  the  period  of  Hengist'i 
return — about  two  years  and  a  half. 

§  Botgaf  or  Voigas — HeBglst's  father,  whom  the  Saxons  call  Wetgisse. 

II  Death  was  inevitable,  because  the  unarmed  Britons  were  ranked  alternately 
with  armed  Saxons— The  next  paragraph  describes  uol  d  isttle,  but  a 
sudden  massacre.  I 


in  the  assembly,  an  irresistible  conflict.  Tjiey  were  slain 
with  blades,  and  without  din,  whilst  the  princely  supporter 
of  the  living  law  was  making  an  atonement.* 

The  heroes  went  to  Cattraeth — loqu£^cious  was  their  as- 
semblage. Pale  mead  was  their  liquor,  and  it  became  their 

Three  hundred  with  effective  weapons,  were  set  in 
array  :•]-  and  after  their  noisy  mirth— what  a  silence  en- 
sued !  They  should  have  gone  to  churches  to,  do  penance : 
the  inevitable  strife  of  death  is  piercing  them. 

The  heroes  went  to  Cattraeth — They  drank  the  intoxicat- 
ing mead.  !3rave  and  prosperous  had  they  beep.  I  should 
wrong  them,  were  I  to  neglect  their  fame  !  Amidst  blades, 
red,  tremendous,  and  murky ;  incessantly,  and  obstinately, 
iwould  the  dogs  of  battle  fight.  J — "  (O  Saxons)  bad  I 
"  judged  you  to  be  favourers  of  the  B^rnician  clan,§  like 
"  a  deluge,  I  would  not  have  left  a  man  of  you  alive!" — 
My  companion  I  lost,  when  I  was  secure.  Successfully  had 
he  withstood  the  terror  of, the  usurper:  thfi  magnanimous 

*  It  appears  from  the  subsequent  parts  of  the  Gododin,  that  this  interposer 
was  the  celebrated  Eidiol,  a  distinguished  prince,  and  president  of  the  Bardic 
coramnnity ;  or,  as  he  was  styled  in  that  wretched  age  of  the  British  chnrch. 
Bishop  of  the  Britons.  Upon  this  wofnJ  occasion,  he  acted  as  Seneschal,  or 
Governor  of  the  feast.  He  is  to  be  regarded  as  A^ieurin's  hero ;  and  from  the 
p.articulars  recorded  of  him,  I  conclude  he  is  the  same  prince  who  is  called 
Aurelius'  AmbrosiitSt  Gwrawl  EmrySf  or  hero  of  the  ambrosial  stones. 

+  That  is,  the  retinue  of  Hengi^t,  who  privately  wotp  theit  &a»e»  ct 


J  They  had  foughf  thus,  ip  the  ^yars  of  Vortimet. 

$  Whether  this  apostrophe  is  to  be  understood,  as  coming  from  the  Bard 
hitnsielf,  .or  from  some  more  warlike  phief;  its  ebje^t  is  to  r^proacli  th$  Saxons 
^r  thpir  treacherous  somlpination  wit|i  thi  Picti, 


hero  bad  disallowed  the  endowment  of  the  fother-in-Iaw* — 
Such  was  the  son  of  Cian,  from  the  stone  of  Gwyngwn. 

The  heroes  went  to  Cattraeth  with  the  dawn.  They  were 
afflicted  in  time  of  peace,  by  those  who  had  dreaded 

'  A  hundred  thousand  +  were  the  adversaries  of  ^hree  hun- 
dred, who  uttered  the  groan  of  woe,  stained  with  their  own 
blood,  when  he,§  the  most  terrible,  mknfuUy  stood  up,  be- 
fore the  retinue  of  the  most  courteous  mountain  chief.  |j 

The  heroes  went  to  Cattraeth  with  the  dawn.  Re- 
spected is  their  memory  amongst  their  connexions.  They 
drank  the  yellow,  delicious,  and  potent  mead,  in  that 
year,  when  many  a  Bard  fell  to  the  ground.f  Redder  than 
purple  were  the  blades  of  the  foe;  their  white-sheathed 
piercers,  and  .their  four-pointed  helmets,  before  the  retinue 
of  the  most  courteous  mountain  chief. 

The  heroes  went  to  Cattraeth  with  the  day.     (Was  there 
not  a 'disparagement   of  battles!)  They  had  made,  indeed. 

•  This  endowment  was  the  kingdom  of  Kent,  which  Vorligern  formally  be- 
stowed upon  Hengist,  his  faxhtr-in-iuw,  when  he  married  Kowena. 

+  They  were  massacred  at  an  ostensively  peaceful  meeting,  by  the  united 
plot  of  Uengist  and  Vortigern,  to  whom  they  had  been  equally  formidable. 

%  An  exaggerated  number,  implying  the  whole  combined  party  of  Vortigerrt 
and  Hengist. 

§  Hengist,  who  arose  to  give  the  signal  of  death. 

II  The  retinue  of  Vorligern,  who  was  Lord  of  North  Wales,  a  mountainous 
region — his  great  courtesii  for  the  Saxons  was  a  subject  of  indignation  to  the 

t[  After  the  execution  of  Hengist's  plot,  the  Bards  defended  the  temple 
against  the  Saxons,  where  many  of  them  must  have  fallen. 


a  mighty  carnage.*  Effectually  had  the  gem  of  Christi- 
anity wielded  his  protecting  blade.  This  is  most  meet, 
before  men  have  engaged  in  friendly  compact.,  However 
great  the  bloody  destruction  which  they  had  occasioned, 
when  the  day  was  decided  before  the  army  of  Gododin, 
was  it  not  done  under  the  conduct  of  the  magnanimous 
leader ! 

To  the  hero  who  went  to  Cattraeth  with  the  day,  or 
drank  the  white  mead,  in,  the  celebration  of  May  eve,-\'  dis- 
mal was  the  pi'econcerted  signal  of  the  associated  chief, 
which  he  had  given  in  secret  charge,  through  the  excess  of 
soaring  ambition. 


"    NI  CHRYSIUS   GATTEAETH." — p.  2.     ^' 

In  this  Song,  and  the  next,  follozeing,  the  Bhrd  still  dwelling 
upon  the  Subject  of  the  calamitous  Feast,  intermixes  some 
Particulars  of  the  Bravery  and  Fate  of  a  Chief  whom  he 
calls  Tudvwlch,  which  implies  a  Breach  in  the  Land. 
By  this  singular  Epithet,  he  seems  to'  describe  the  Prince, 
whose  Territories  Vortigern  had  seized,  and  bestowed  upon 

To  Cattraeth,  there  hastened  not  a  hero,  whose  standard 

•  That  is,  in  the  wars  of  Vortimer,  to  which  the  Bard  allu'des,  in  the  con- 
clusion of  the  paragrapli. 

+  Meinoehi/dd— This  was  the  anniversary  of  the  grCat  mysteries  of  the 
Britons,  as  we  have  already  seen  in  Hanes  Taliesin.  And  it  was  the  season 
Appointed  by  Vortigern  and  Hengist  for  the  solemn  meeting.  Warrington, 
p.  57. 


had  dispkyed  such  magnificence  of  enterprize ;  not  has  the 
circle  of  Eidin  (the  living  one)  prodilced  a  scatterer  of  the 
ravagers^  equally  great  with  the  lofty  Tttdvwkh,  who  being 
deprived  of  his  lands  and  towns,  had  slaughtered  the  Saxons 
for  seven  days.  His  valour  ought  to  have  protected  liim 
in  freedom.  Dear  is. his  memory  amongst  his  illustrious 

When  Tudvwlch,  the  supporter  of  the  land,  came  to  the 
feast,  the  area  of  the  son  of  harmony*  was  made  a  plain  of 

blood.  ' 



The  heroes  went  to  Cattraeth  with  the  daWn. — Ah  !  none 
of  them  had  the  proteetion  of  shields -f- — When  they  had 
hastened  to  the  Cra2,;j;  assembled  in  gleaming  arms,  loud 
as  the  tumult  of  thunder,  was  the  din  of  their  shields. 

The  ambitious  man,  the  fickle  man,  and  the  base  man — 
he  would  tear  them  with  "his  pikes  and  halberds. — Standing 
upon  higher  ground,  he  would  gash  them  with  his  blades,- 
but.  to  the  grief  of  the  steel-clad  commander,  the  water- 
dwellers  were  subdued  by  the  proprietor  of  the  land.  Before 
Ertbai,  the  warrior  groaned. 

•  Mat  Eihgdli — ^This  was  the  area  of  the  Bards,  or  the  Cursus,  in  front  of 
theit  great  temple,  which  was  the  scene  of  the  massacre. 

+  Of  these  they  were  disarmed  by  the  stratagem  of  Ilengist. 

i  This  probably  means  the  bloody  battle  of  Cray  ford,  in  which  those  heroes, 
under  the  -conduct  of  Vortimer,  had  fought  w,ith  Hengist,  four  or  five  years 
before  the  massacre.  In  that  engagement,  botii  parties  seem  to  have  claimed 
the  victory.— See  Gibson's  Camden,  Col.  224.  Sammes,  p.  390, 



"    O  VREITHELL  GATTKAETH." — p.  3. 

i'ortigern  is  here  implicated  in  the  Guilt  and  Disgrace  of 
the  Massacre. 

Of  the  mixed  assembly  of  Cattraeth,  when  the  tale  is 
told,  the  natives  are  afflicted. — Long  has  their  sorrow  con- 
tinued !  There  was  a  dominion  without  a  sovereign,  and  a 
smoaking  land.*  Yet  the  sons  of  Godebawg,  -j-  an  iniqui- 
tous tribe,  would  bbstinately  support  the  secret  inviter  of 
the  great  slaughterer.  Dismal  was  the  fate  of  dire  necessitj', 
which  was  decreed  for  Tudvwlch,  and  the  lofty  Cy  vwlch. 

Together  they  drank  the  transparent  mead,  by  the  light 
of  torches :  though  it  was  pleasant  to  the  laste,  it  pro- 
duced a  lasting  abhorrence. 

He+    had   previously   stationed   above  Caer    Echinig, 

*  This  alludes  to  the  drondful  ravages  committed  by  HengUt,  after  the 
massacre. — isee  Warrington,  p. 60.  , 

t  The  princrly  descendants  of  Coel  Godebawg  supported  the  cause  of 
yottigerii,  who  bad  invited  Heogist  into  Britain. 

%  That  is  Vortigern,  "  the  Inviter  of  llie  great  slaughterer."  It  appears  from 
this,  'and  other  passages,  that  Vortigcrn  was  privy  to  the  design  of  massacre, 
which  he  had  encouraged,  in  order  to  get  rid-  of  those  counsellors  and  heroes 
who  had  supported  the  cause  of  his  son  Vortinier,  and  might  still  be  suspected 
of  an  intention  to  elect  another  sovereign.  It  is  probable,  however,  that  the 
British  King  was  not  aware  of  Hengist's  design  to  seize  his  person,  and  ex- 
tort  from  him  a  large  portion  of  his  dominii.nsi  aa  the  price  of  liberty. 


the  youthful  heroes  of  a  chief,  who  was  in  his  retinue.  He 
had  previously  ordered  a  horn  to  be  filled  on  the  Bludwe, 
that  he  might  pledge  the  water-dweller.  He  had  directed 
that  the  beverage  should  consist  of  mead  and  beer 
(Bragawd).  He  had  previously  ordered  the  display  of 
gold  and  rich  purple.  He.  had  given  orders  for  pampered 
steeds,  which  might  carry  him  safe  away,  whilst  Gwarthlev 
and  Enovryd  were  pouring  forth  the  liquor.  Previous  to 
this,  the  benefactor  whom  the  ebbing  tide  had  left  us,*  gave 
out  his  private  signal — a  command  which  concerned,  those, 
who  had  been  loath  to  retreat. 


"    ANAWE  GYNHOKTJAN."— ^p.  o. 

This  little  Song,  which  seems  to  want  the  Conclusion,  is  un- 
connected zeith  the  preceding  Subject.  It  appears  evidently, 
to  be  an  Elegy  upon  the  Death  of  the  victorious  Vortimer, 
zoho  had  driven  the  Saxons  out  of  the  Country,  and  was 
afterwards  poisoned  in  the  Court  of  Vortigem,  by  the 
Contrivance  of  Rozoena,  the  Daughter  of  Hengist. 

And  now  the  lofty  leader,  the  sun,  is  about  to  ascend  :•]■ 
the  sovereign  most  glorious,  the  Lord  of  the  British  Isle. 

•  That  is  Hengist,  who,  by  hastening  the  execution  of  his  plot,  prevented 
the  meditated  retreat  of  Vortigem. 

+  This,  I  conceive,  is  not  to  be  iinderstood  literally,  as  a  hymn  to  the  sun — 
the  Bard  is  only  comparing  Voriimer  to  the  sun,  whom  the  mystical  Bards 
acknowledged  as  a  divinity. 

For  Niv,  heaven,  I  read  NiV(  a  Lord. 


Direful  was  the  flight,  before  the  shaking  of  his  shield, 
hastening  to  victory. 

iBut  there  was  an  unkind  cup  in  the  court  of  Eiddin:* 

with  ostentatious  courtesy,  the  hero  was  invited  to  taste  the 

generous  liquor.    The  beverage  of  wine  he  drank  in  the 

festival  of  the  reaping.     Though  the  wine  which  he  quafied 

-■was  transparent,  it  had  assumed  the  form  of  deadly  poison. 

We  have  a  slaughtering  harvest — the  slaughter  of  the 
illustrious  chief.  We  raised  the  song  of  deaths— the  death 
of  the  armed  hero — the  death  of  the  winged  one,  whose 
shield  had  not  been  withheld  from  the  spears  of  battle."]- 
The  pre-occupiers  fell  in  the  dreadful  conflict.  Determined 
was  his  signal  of  attack,  and  decisive  the  orders  whichJie 
issued.  Without  disparagement,  he  retaUated  upon  the 
foe,  before  the  green  sod  covered  the.  grave  of  the  great  and 
blessed  hero. 

•  EUMn,  he  who  extorts  property  or  possession— an  epithet  applieiJ  to  the 
ttturper  Vortigern,  in  whose  court  vortimer  received  a  poisoned  cup,  by  the 
contrivance  of  lElowena, 

+  The  Bard  alludes  to  the  actions  of  Vortiaier,  previous  to  his  fall,. 



"   TEITHl    AMGANT." — p.  4. 

In  this  Place,  there  is  a  Chasm  in  the  Original.  Its  Extent 
is  not  known.  The  following  Enumeration  npmt  be  referred 
to  the  Middle  of  the  fifth  Century,  when  the  Saxons  served 
as  mercenary  Troops  under  Vortigern, 

The  complement  of  the  borders  were  three  moving 
bands — five  battalions  of  five  hundred  men  each — three 
levies  of  three  hundred  each — three  hundred  warlike  knights 
of  Eiddyn,*  arrayed  in  gilded  armour — three  loricated 
bands,  with  three  commanders,  wearing  gold  chains — three 
adventurous  knights,  with  three  hundred  of  equal  quality. 
These  three  bands,  of  the  same  order,  were  mutually  jea- 
lous in  their  bitter  and  impetuous  assaults  on  the  foe — they 
were  •  equally  dreadfiil  in  the  conflict :  they  would  strike  a 
lion  flat  as  lead.     Gold  had  collected  all  these  for  warfare.-j- 

There  came  also  three  princes  of  the  land,  who  were  na- 
tive Britons — Cinric  and  Cenon,  of  the  stock  of  Aeron,:t 
to  oppose  the  ashen  spears  of  the  men  who  dropped  into 

*  Vortigern,  as  above.  It  appears  (Jiat  this  bloody  usurper,  who  owed  his 
elevation  to  the  murder  of  his  lawful  sovereign,  and  the  violence  of  a  party, 
■was  diffident  of  the  native  Britons,  and  kept  a  body-guard  of  three-  hundred 
Saxon  horse. 

+  It  seems  by  this  paragraph,  that  the  Saxon  .mercenaries  of  Vortigern 
8.niounted  to  about  5U00. 

:f  A'iron,  the  Splendid  one,  or  the  Queen  of  Brightness ;  a  name  of  one  of  tl« 
great  lainiuaries,  venerated  by  the  superstitious  Uritous, 


Deira.*  And  there  came  from  amongst  the  Britons,  a  mart 
\vho  was  better  than  Cenon— »even  he  who  proved  a  serpent 
to  the  sullen  foes,  -j- 


"    YVEIS    Y    wiN    A    MED. p.  4. 

*rhe  Bard  resumes  the  Subject  of  the  disastrous  Feast. 

I  DRANK  of  the  wine  and  the  mead  of  the  water-dweller, 
with  the  huge  amber  beads.  J  In  the  assembly  of  social 
men,  it  was  his  glory  to  make  food  for  eagles.  When  he 
hastened  to  roiise  at  once  his  fell  associates — before  he  gave 
the  signal  i  at  the  early  dawn,  he  left  the  shields  ||  of  split 
wood  at  a  distance — short- tearing  weapons^  (he  knew) 
Would  cut  their  way. 

Before  the  assault,  the  points  of  sprigs  had  been  broken** 

z  2 

•  That  is,  the  Picts. 

t  The  third  and  principal  hero,  who  is.  desciibed,  and  not  named,  was  pro- 
bably Eldiol,  the  liard's  peculiar  favourite.  ° 

i  Hengist,  with  his  wreath  of  amber  round  his  temples. — See  song  2. 

§  "  Now,  with  your  seaxesl" — The  signal  which  Hengist  had  pteviqusly 
agreed  upon  with  his  assassins. 

II  This  particular  of  the  plot  has  been  already  noticed. 

5  The  SCO*  had  a  sharp  edge  on  one  side ;  but  the  other  side  was  frequently 
cut  into  teeth,  like  a  saw.    Sammes,  p.  413. 

•*  The  breaking  of  sprigs,  so  frequently  mentioned  by  the  Bards,  describes 
lire  practice  of  sortilege.  It  seems,  from  this  passage,  that  the  diviner^  either 
from  his  lots,  or  private  conjeeture,  had  conceived  some  presentiiiient  of  the 



by  the  son  of  Semno,  the  Diviner,  who  knew  that  he  wha 
Lad  sold  his  hfe  would  cut  with  shai-p  blades.  He  should 
have  declared  this  openly,  then  he  would  have  been  slain 
with  pointed  weapons. 

Notwithstanding  his  friendly  covenant,*  he  was  medi- 
tating a  convenient  attack.  He  had  boasted  of  the  carcasses 
of  hrave  and  powerful  men,  whom  he  would  pierce  in  the 
presence  of  Gwt/nedd.-f 

"  I  drank  of  the  wine  and  the  mead  of  the  water-dweller, 
"  and  because  I  had  drunk,  I  made  a  stroke  with  a  small 

"  piercing  blade."  J "  It  was  not  thy  excess  of  drinking 

"  which  emboldened  the  fell  chief:  wJien  every  one  made  a 
"  stroke,  thou  didst  the  same.  But  when  the  issue  comes, 
"  it  would  have  been  well  for  thee  not  to  have  offended :  the 
"  present  rewarder  of  your  deed|  has  displaced  a  mighty 
"  and  dreadful  arm." 

*  Hengist's  proposal  of  a  friendly  meeting,  for  the  ostensible  purpose  Of  set- 
tling all  disputes. 

+  That  is,  Vortigent,  Lord  of  Giiiyntdil,  or  North  Wales.  Golyddan,  a 
Bard  of  the  seventh  century,  emphatically  styles  him  Gvirtheym  Gwynedd.^ 
W.  Archaiol,  p.  156. 

:f  This  is  the  apology  of  a  Saxon  individual,  for  his  atrocious  conduct  at  the 
feast :  to  which  tlie  indignant  Briton  replies — "  It  was  not  thy  excess,"  &c. 

§  Eidipl,  or  Ambrosius,  who  retaliated  upon  the  Saxons  by  the  death  of 



"    GWYR    A    AETH    GATTKAETH." — p.  4. 

The  Bard,  pursuing  his  Subject,  openly  charges  Vortigern  as 
an  Accomplice  in  Hengist's  Plot. 

The  heroes  who  went  to  Cattraeth  were  renowned.  Wine 
and  mead,  from  golden  cups,  was  their  liquor  in  the  year 
when  we  accepted  of  the  dignified  man  who  had  been  set 
aside.*  Three,  and  three  score,  and  three  hundred  were 
they,  wearing  gold  chains.f  Of  those  who  hastened  to  the 
excess  of  liquor,  three  only  escaped  from  the  confident 
stabbing ;  namely,  the  two  war  dogs  of  Aeron,  and  our 
destined  governor, ;{:  and  myself,  through  my  streams  of 
blood — the  reward  of  my  candid  song. 

O  my  friend  !  O  thou  who  truly  condolest  with  me !  We 
should  not  h^ve  been  beaten,  but  for  the  instigation  of  the 
sovereign,  who  was  twice  elevated.  §  We  should  not  have 
been  singled  out  in  the  court  of  the  mead  feast.     It  was  he 

*  Blwyddyn  yu  erbyn  urddyn  deawd— 
The  ye?ar  when  Vortigern,  who  had  beeji  deposed  for  his  attachment  to  the 
Saxons,  was  re-elected  to  the  sovereignty,  after  the  death  of  Vortimer. 

+  "  Above  three  hundred  of  the  British  nobility,  the  most  eminent  for  their 
"  talent's  in  the  council,  or  in  the  field,  perished  in  this  bloody  carousal." 

Warrington,  p.  59,  with  his  numerous  authorities. 

i  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius. — It  is  clear  to  me,  that  under  these  two  names,  we 
are  to  contemplate  bat  one  historical  character.  Ambrosius  liad,  therefore, 
already  returned  from  Armorica,  either  duriug  the  reign  of  Vortimer,  or  upoa 
the  faith  of  this  friendly  meeting.  As  this  prince  was  a  pecuKar  object  of  Vor- 
tigern's  jealousy,  his  flattering  appointment,  as  governor  of  the  feast,  may 
have  been  made  for  the  purpose  of  securing  his  attendance  amongst  the  des- 
tined victims. 

^  Vortigern,  who  had  been  deposed,  and  re-elected  by  his  faction.  The 
Bard  openly  charges  this  infataated  prince  with  the  odium  of  the  massacres 


who  made  the  proscription,  in  behalf  of  his  convenient 
friend.  Base  is  he  in  the  field,  ^ho  is  base  to  his  own  rela- 
tives.* The  man  of  Gododin  reports,  that  after  the  gash" 
ing  assault^  there  was  none  found  more  ardent  thap  Llywy.'j' 

SONG    X, 

"    ARF    AGCYNNULL." p.  4. 

This  little  Dirge  may  he  supposed  to  have  been  cfiaunted  over 
the  obtruncated  Body  of  Hengist,  when  he  was  taken  at 
the  Battle  of  Caer  Conan,%  and  beheaded  by  the  Com-' 
piand  of  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius,  the  Prince  who  succeeded. 
Vortigern  as  King  of  fhe  Britons, 

He  who  now  supports  no  arm,  who  presents  a  lacerated 
form,  deprived  of  motion,  has  with  energy  pervaded  the 
land,  through  the  great  multitude  of  the  Loegrian  tribes. 

His  shields  were  extended  on  the  sea  coast — his  shields, 
in  the  battle  of  pikes.  He  caused  a  destruction  of  men, 
and  multiplied  widowed  matrons  before  his  death.-  O  vehe- 
ment son  of  Hoewgi,|  with  thy  spears  didst  thou  ipak^  an 
effusion  of  blood ! 

•  Vqrtigerfi  had  m^dp  Jiis  way  to  the  throne  by  the  btse  murder  of  his  ccitsin 
Goostan?. — ^Warrington,  p.  S%  This  paragraph  records  a  more  shocking 
ipstauce  of  his  basme^Sf 

I  The  British  Prpserpine — here  ^he  represents  the  whole  community  of 
B^rds^her  votaries. .  See  song  25, 

If  Sec  Gibson's  Camden  Col.  847.    Warrington  and  his  authorities,  p.  64> 

J  Hengist's  father,  l>y  thp  Saxons  CE^led  Wet^isse, 



"    AEWR   Y    DWY    VSGWYD." — p.  5- 

TMs  Song  refers  to  the  Actions  of  Eidiol,*  or  Amhrosius, 
subsequent  to  the  Massacre  of  the  British  Nobles. 

The  hero  of  tlie  two  shields — winged  is  his  variegated 
van.  'It  is  like  the  velocity  of  warlike  steeds.  In  Aervre 
(the  mount  of  slaughter)  there  was  a  din — there  was  fire ! 
Impetuous  were  his  spears,  as  the  rays  of  the  blazing  sun. 
There  was  food  for  ravens — there  did  the  raven  triumph ! 

And  before  the  foe  was  left  at  large  by  the  eagle's  allurer, 
who  delighted  in  the  course,  there  was  scattering  on  his 
flanks,  and  in  his  front  the  overwhelming  billow !  The  Bard^ 
of  the  land  will  judge  respecting  men  of  valour. 

His  counsels  were  not  divulged  to  slaves, 

•  The  English  historians,  the  Triads,  and  the  chronicles  of  Tysilio  and  Geof- 
frj  of  Monmouth,  reprpseiit  this  prince  as  having  singly  attacked  the  Saxons, 
and  sISin  an  incredible  number  of  them  with  a  pole. 

The  poems  of  Aneurin  apd  Cuhelja  reconcile  the  report  of  his  action;  with 
probability.  Having  sonje  suspicion  of  treachery,  he  takes  his  station  a> 
governor  of  the  feast,  and  consequently  is  not  involved  in  the  ranks,  Upon 
the  first  assault,  he  extends  his  shaft  between  the  adverse  parties,  and  gives 
the  alarm  to  the  numerous  disciples'  of  the  Bards,  who  were  celebrating  the 
festivity  of  May-day,  and  to  the  populaccr  whom  the  solemnity  had  convened. 
Some  of  this  multitude  parry  off  the  Saxons  with  the  long  poles  which  were 
used  in  the  procession,  whilst  others  set  fire  to  the  temporary  buildings  about 
the  Cursus,  and  seize  the  arms  which  had  been  there  deposited. 

It  was  Hengist's  plan,  immediately  after  the  massacre,  to  burst  into  the  tem- 
ple, and  plunder  its  treasures:  but  his  Saxons,  being  half  intoxicated,  and 
only  armed  with  their  corslets  and  short  daggers,  were  thrown  into  confusioii  by 
this  subitaneous  host  of  Britons,  and  by  the  surrounding  flames ;  so  that  after 
some  loss,  they  were  compelled  to  retreat,  and,  for  the.  present,  to  postpone  the 
fOmpletioij  of  their  design. 


Devourers  were  his  spears  in  the  hands  of  heroes.  And, 
before  the  deed  of  the  lurkers'covered  him  in  the  grave,*  he 
was  a  man  who  had  enei'gy  in  his  commands.  Buddvan 
(the  horn  of  victory),  the  son  of  the  bold  Bleiddvan  (lofty 
wolr),  washed  his  armour  with  gore. 

Injurious,  mOst  injurious  vvotiH  it  be,  to  neglect  the  me- 
morial of  him,  who  left  not  an  open  gap  for  cowardice : 
whose  court  was  not  deserted  by  the  beneficent  Bards  of 
Britain,  upon  the  calends  of  January.  It  was  his  resolu- 
tion, that  strangers  should  not  plow  his  land,  though  it  lay 
waste.  Indignantly  did  he  resent  the  stratagem  of  the  great 
Dragon,f  who  was  a  leader  in  the  field  of  blood,  after  the 
fatal  wine  had  been  quaifed  by  Gwenabwy-J  (the  fair  corpse), 
the  son  of  the  Lady — the  warrior  of  Galltraeth.^     , 

*  Or,  before  he  was  buried,  after  those  who  laid  »  plot  for  his  life,  had 
accomplished  their  design.  This  obscure  sentence  alludes  to  the  mnnner  oV 
Ambiosius'  death.  Eppa,  a  Saxon  physician,  treacherously  poisoned  him,  by 
the  instigation  of  Vaictia,  the  son  of  Vortigern. 

See  Warrington,  and  liis  authorities,  p.  65,  &6. 

+  Hengist,  who  slaughtered  the  British  nobles,  and  wasted  the  country,  after 
the  death  of  Vortimer,  who  had  fought  at  Galltraeth. 

i  Vortimer,  who  was  made  a  corpse,  or  poisoned,  by  the  contrivance  of  bit 
step-mother,  Rowena. 

§  Galltraeth',  the  Gallic  strand,  or  shore  of  the  Gallic  sea.  The  B^d  de- 
ecribes  the  battle  of  Galltraeth,  song  34,  and  ascribes  the  massacre  to  the 
resentment  of  the  Saxons,  for  the  victory  which  the  Britons  had  obtained  in 
that  engagement,  Hruce  it  appears,  that  this  was  Vortimer's  victory,  recorded 
by  Nennius,  Ad  Lapidem  Tituli,  supra  ripam  Gallicl  maris,  where  the  Saxons 
were  entirely  beaten  off  British  ground,  and  compelled  to  fly  to  their  ships., 
Gibson's  Camden  Col.  243. 

Lkch  Titleu,'  or  Lapit  Tituli,  is  substituted  for  Galltraeth  in  another  passage- 
of  the  Go(}odin. 



"   BU    GWtR    MAL    Y    MEAD    Y    GATHLEU." — p.  5. 

This  Song  describes  the  Conduct  of  Eidiol  at  the  Instant  of 
the  Massacre,  and  furnishes  some  Hints  of  his  subsequent 

True  it  was,  as  the  songs*  report.  Jfo  steeds  overtook 
Marchleu-)-.  (the  splendid  knight).  The  governor  extended 
his  spear,  before  the  swordsman,  J  in  his  thick  strewed 
path.  Being  educated  amongst  the  sacred  mounts,  he  sup- 
ported his  mystic  mother :  and  severe  was  the  stroke  of  his 
protecting  blade.  A  spear,  of  quartered  ash,  did  he  ex- 
tend from  his  hand,  over  the  stone  cell  of  the  sa- 
cred FiRE,§  whilst  the  corn-stacks  were  made  to  puff  out 
with  smoke,  by  those  who  had  cut  with  the  blade  armfuls 
of  furze. II  Theii,  as  when  a  reaping  corties  in  doubtful 
weather,  did  the  splendid  knight  cause  the  blood  to  flow. 

From  the  Southern  regions  did  he  send  Issac,^  whose 

*  The  B^ard  quotes  the  authority  of  songs  which  had  been  composed  upon  the 
occasion.  ^ 

+  WarchUu.  and  the  governor,  refer  to  Eidiol :  for  the  action  described,  ij 
that  which  is  expressly  and  exclusively  ascribed  to  that  hero. 

J  The  Saxon. 

$  These  are  important  hints  upon  the  subject  of  the  Bardic  temple. 

II  In  subsequent  passages,  the  Bard  expressly  describes  Eidiol  as  iavolviug 
the  Saxons  in  flames. 

H  A  corrupt  orthography  for  ^sea — "  The  British  prince  (Ambrosius)  then 
"  laid  siege  to  the  city  of  York,  in  which  place  Ocla,  the  son  of  Hengist,  and 
"  Esca,  his  brother,  had  taken  refuge ;  but  these  chiefs  were  soon  obliged  to 
"  surrender,  upon  condition  that  they  and  the  Saxon  soldiers  should  retire 
"  into  the  country^  near  Scotland, "o-Warrington,  p.  64. 


conduct  had  been  like  the  inconstant  sea:  he  wasftiUof 
modesty  and  gentleness,  whilst  he  regaled  himself  with 
mead ;  but  he  would  possess  a  territory,  from  the  rampart 
of  Ofer,  to  the  point  of  Madden — then  the  savage  was 
glutted  with  carnage,  the  scatterer  with  desolation.  On 
the  heads  of  mothers  did  his  sword  resound ! 

Our  hero  was. a  Murgreid  (mighty  spirit) — praise  be  to 
him,  the  son  of  Gwyddneu !  * 


"    CAEEDIG    CAEADWY    E    GLOD. p.  5. 

We  are  here  presented  with  a- striking  Conttast,  in  the  Cha- 
racters of  two  Heroes,  who  fell  at  the  fatal  Feast.  The 
former  was,  probably,  Caredig,  the  Son'of  Cunedda,  who 
possessed  a  District  in  Cardiganshire,  which,  from  him, 
was  called  Caredigiawn,  whence  the  English  name  of  the 
County.  The  second  seems  to  have  been  Caradog  with  the 
brawny  Arm,  a  celebrated  Cornish  Prince  of  the  fifth 

CAEEDi(ii — lovely  is  his  fame !  He  protects  and  guards 
his  appointed  spot.  Calm  is  he,  and  gentle,  before  he 
comes  into  the  field.  Does  he  give  battle !  He  is  brave 
with  discretion.  The  friend  of  harmonious  song — may  he 
arrive  in  the  celestial  region,  and  recognise  his  home ! 

*  The  Hydrams  of  the  British  mysteries.— See  the  third  section  of  this 
Essay.  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius,  was  his  mystical  son,  or  an  adept  in  the  Batdi? 
mjsteries.  ' 


Caredig,  the  amiable  chief,  leading  in  the  tumultuous 
battle,  with  his  golden  shield,  he  marshalled  his  camp. 
Lances  are  darted  and  shivered  into  splinters,  and  pene- 
trating is  the  stroke  of  the  unrelenting  sword.  Like  a 
hero,  he  still  maintains  his  post.  Before  he  was  laid  on  the 
earth — before  the  afflictive  shock,  he  had  fulfilled  hi*  duty 
in  guarding  his  station.  May  he  find  a  complete  reception 
with  the  Trinity,  in  perfect  unity !  * 

When  Caradoc  rushed  into  battle,  like  a  wild  boar,  he 
cut  his  way,  and  burst  forward.  In  the  mangling  fight, 
he  was  the  bull  of  the  host.  Tire  wild  dogs  were  allured 
by  the  motion  of  his  hand.  For  this,  I  have  the  testimony 
of  Ewein,  the  son  of  Eulat,  and  Gurien,  and  Gwyn,  and 
Guriat.  But  though,  from  Galltraeth,  from  the  mangling 
fight,  and  from  Bryn  Hydwn,  he  returned  safe,f  yet  after 
the  clear  mead  was  put  into  his  hand>  the  hero  saw  his  fathe? 
1^0  more. 


♦'    GWYK    A    GEYSSIASANT."— p.  6. 

The  Bard  commemorates  several  of  the  Nobles  who  had  been 
slain  at  the  Feast,  and  celebrates  the  Heroism  which  they 
had  displayed  in  the  IBattle  of  Galltraeth. 

The  heroes  who  hastened  to  the  feast,  had  moved  forth 

•  From  this  single  passage,  it  appears  that,  amongst  all  his  heathenish  my- 
'  tl)olpgy»  the  Bard  acknowledged  some  genuine  tenets  of  Christianity. 

+  He  had  returned  in  s^ety  from  the  wars  of  Vortinjerj  but  he  did  uot 
psc^pe  ffon)  the  fatal  banijuet. 


Wflanimously,  even  the  short-lived  heroes  who  were  intoxi- 
cated over  the  clarified  mead,  the  retinue  of  the  mountain 
chief— men  who  had  been  illustrious  in  the  hour  of  trial. 

As  the  price  of  their  mead  in  the  banquet,  their  lives 
Were  paid  by  Caradoc  and  Madoc,  Pyll  and  leuan,  Peredur 
with  steel  arms,  Gwawrddur  and  Aeddan,  who  had  escaped 
from  the  tumultuous  fight  with  a  broken  shield.  Though 
they  had  slain  the  foe,  they  also  were  slain :  none  of  them 
returned  to  their  peaceful  home. 

The  heroes  who  hastened  to  the  feast,  were  entertained 
together  on  that  year,*  over  the  mead  of  the  great  de- 
signers.f  Those  deplorable  wretches!  how  doleful  their  com- 
memoration! the  bane  of  the  land  to  which  they  had 
returned !  j  By  motheis  they  were  not  nursed !  How  lasting 
the  resentment  and  the  grief  they  occasioned !  After  men 
had  acted  bravely — at  the  moment  when  they  were  regaling 
with  mead,  the  dank  floor  of  Gododin  §  receives  our  vigo- 
rous heroes.  This  was  occasioned  by  the  choice  liquor  of 
the  mountain  chief,  and  the  resentment  of  the  victory 
which  they  had  purchased  at  Galltraeth.|| 

These  men  had  gone  to  Galltraeth  to  battle,  as  heroes. 

•  The  year  of  Vortigern's  re-elevation  to  the  sovereignty.    See  before. 
+  Vortigern  and  the  Saxons. 

t  The  Saxons  had  been  utterly  e!:pelled  by  Vortimer ;  and  again,  they  re- 
turned to  Britain  upon  the  restoration  of  Vortigern. 

'  \  Here  Gododin  is  evidently  a  name  of  the  great  sanctuary,  where  the  mas-- 
sacre  was  perpetrated. 

'  H  Vortimer's  last  victory,  snpra  ripam  Gallici  maris,  was  the  great  occasion 
of  Hengist's  resentment.  The  Bard  now  proceeds  to  describe  the  bravery 
which  his  heroes  had  displayed  in  that  decisive'  actimi. ' 


with  thp  force  of  warlike  steeds,  and  red  armour  and  shields> 
and  uplifted  spears,  and  shjarp  lances,  and  glittering  mail, 
and  swords. — They  had  excelled — they  had  penetrated 
through  the  host^-^before  their  hlades  five  battalions  had 
fallen.  The  lofty  Rhuvawn*  had  given  gold  to  the. altar; 
and  to  the  Bard,  munificent,  honorary  rewards. 


"    NY  WNAETHPWYD  NEUADD." — p.  6. 

The  Bard  speaks  of  the  great  Temple,  in  the  Precincts  of 
which  the  fatal  Banquet  was  celebrated.  He  recites  the 
heroic  Acts  of  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius,  who  is  described  bi( 
a  Variety  of  Epithets ;  and  touches  upon  gorne  Particulars 
of  the  Retaliation  of  the  Britons,  at  the  Battle  of  Maes 

A  STKrcTUKEf  was  not  formed  so  eminently  perfect, 
so  great,  so  magnificent,  for  the  conflict  of  swords. 

In  the  place  where  Morien  merited  the  sacred  fire,  it 
cannot  be  denied  that  corpses  were  seen,  by  the  wearer 
of  scaly  mail,  j    who  was  harnessed,    and  armed  with  a 

•  Jlhuvawn,  the  same  as  Elphin,  the  Solar  Divinity,  or  his  priest. 

+  The  account  of  the  great  temple,  in  this  song,  deserves  the  attention  of 
the  antiquary.  In  the  passage  before  us,  we  are  told  that  it  was  not  made  far 
strife — being  the  sanctuary  of  the  pacific  Bards  and  Druids. — Here,  also,  was-' 
the  cell  af  the  sacred  fire,  mentioned  in  a  preceding  paragraph. 

^  Hengist,  who  began  his  outrage,  by  killing  the  Bard. 


piei'cing  weapon,  but  covered' with  the  skin  of  a  beast. 
His  sword  resounded  upon  the  head  of  the  chief  singer  of 
NoE  and  Eseye,*  at  the  great  stone  fence  of  their  com" 
mon  sanctuary. —^^e\er  more  did  the  child  of  Teithan 

This  hall  would  not  have  been  made  so  impregnable,  had 
not  Morienf  been  equal  to  Caradoc.  He  did  not  retreat 
with  sorrow  towards  Mynawc.J — Enraged  is  he,  and  fiercei' 
than.the  son  of  Bedrawc.§  Fell  is  the  hand  of  the  knight  i 
in  flames  he  involves  the  retreating  foe. 

Terrible  is  the  shout  of  the  city,l|  to  the  timid  train,  who 
wf  re  scattered  before  the  army  of  Gododin.  From  the  in- 
closure  of  fire,  precipitately  they  fled;  In  the  day  of  their 
wrath,  they  became  nimble.     They  shrunk  from  their  pur- 

*  Mr.  Bryant  has  demonstrated,  that  Saturn  and  Rhea,  Osiris  and  Isis,  &c. 
implied  the  patriarch  Noah,  and  the  GenitiS  of  the  Ark :  with  these,  I  have 
identified  the  DiDi/van  and  JDwyvach;  Hu  and  Kid;  Tegid  and  Ceridaen,  &c. 
of  the  Britons, 

ti'iie  is  liere  introduced  hy  his  proper  name  ;  but  I  do  not  infer  from  bencea 
that  this  name  had  been  preserved  by  tlie  Pagan  Britons.    The  sacred  writings 
were  known  in  the  days  of  Aneurin :  and  that  Bard,  or  some  one  before  him,  had 
sufficient  discernment  to  perceive,  that  his  H«,  Tegid,  or  Dwyvan,  was  origin- , 
ally  the  same  person  as  the  N'oe  of  Scripture  history. 

Eseye  was  certainly  the  same  character  as  Isisi  and  Teithan  must  be  iden-> 
tified  with  .the  Greek  Titan,  or  the  Sun,  who  is  called  Titin,  in  the  Hibetno- 
Celtic.  The  Bard,  as  usual,  connects  his  Arkite  superstition  wilhSabian  idolatry. 

+  A  name  of  the  same  deified  person,  but  transferred  to  his  priest,  Eidiol, 
as  it  is  evident  from  the  action  ascribed  to  him. 

$  The  sovereign— yorfigern,  who  is  elsewhere  styled  Mynawe  M'don,  so* 
rereign  of  the  natives. 

5  Bedwyr,  the  son  of  Bedrawc,  a  fabnlous  hero. 

II  The  community  of  Bardsj  who  probably  resided   iu  booths,  withiD  the 

ouiward  vailum  of  the  temple. 


pose*.    Did  they  merit  their  horns  of  mead — the  slaves  of 
the  mountain  chief  !-|- 

No  hall  was  made  so  immoveable  as  this.  As  for  CynonJ 
of  the  gentle  breast,  the  governor  of  the  feast,  he  sat  not 
inactive  upon  his  throne.  Those  whom  he  pierced  were  not 
pierced  again.  Keen  was  the  point  of  his  lance.  Through  ' 
the  painted  corslet  did  the  warrior  penetrate.  Before  his 
resentment,  fleet  were  the  hostile  steeds.  In  the  day  of 
wrath,  the  indignant  stroke  was  returned  by  the  blade  of 
Cynon,  when  he  rushed  forth  with  the  early  dawn. 

Heavy  was  the  stroke  which  had  fallen  in  the  first  as* 
sault;§  but  he||  who  administered  the  liquor,  put  an  end  to 
their  outrage.  Effectual  was  his  valour,  in  behalf  of 
Elphin.^  His  spear  pushes  the  chiefs,  who  had  made  war 
in  their  merriment.- — The  pinnacle  of  renown  is  the  radiant 
bull  of  battle!** 

Heavy  was  the  stroke  which  had  fallen  in  the  first  as- 
sault, as  a  reward  for  the  mead  and  wine,  which  were  given 

*  That  is,  their  design  of  plnnderiag  the  temple,  which  appears,  upon  this 
sccasioD,  to  have  been  richly  furnished  and  decorated. 

+  The  Saxons,  who  had  been  the  mercenaries  and  the  body  guard  of  Vorti- 
gern,  lord  of  the  mountainous  VcTiedntia.  Golyddan  calls  them  Cychmyn 
Gwrtheyrn  Gwynedd,  the  boatmen  of  Vortigern  of  Gwynedd. 

J  "  The  Prince" — his  office  and  his  actiob  prove,  that  the  title  miist  here 
be  referred  to  Eidiol. 

§  The  sudden  attack  of  Hengist's  assassins. 

II  Eidiol,  the  governor  of  the  feast. 

5J  The  mystical  son  of  Gwyddnaw — the  Solar  Divinity. — See  Section  Si 

**  Throughput/the  Gododin,  this  singular  title  implies  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius, 
as  the  priest  and  representative  of  Hu,  Noe,  or  Beli,  of  wliojii  the  bull  was  the 
£ivourite  symbol. 


in  the  court ;  but  boldly  did  hi s  weapon  interpose  between 
the  two  ranks.  The  pinnacle  of  renown  is  the  radiant  bull 
of  battle. 

Those  who  made  the  heavy  stroke  for  the  fair  treasures, 
had  their  host  turned  aside  with  trailing  shields — those 
shields,  which  were  shivered  before  the  herds  of  the  roaring 

From  the  bloody  field,  the  monster  hastens  within  the 
fence.-|-  To  us,  a  grey-headed  man  arrives — his  chief 
counsellor — with  the  picture  of  the  prancing  steed,  bearing 
a  sacred  message  from  the  chief  with  the  golden  chain — 
the  boar,  who  had  made  a  compact  in  the  front  of  the 
course — the  great  plotter. 

How  just  was  the  shout  of  refusal,  which  burst  forth! 

•  This  paragraph  alludes  to  the  battle  of  Maes  Beli,  near  Caer  Conan,  in 
Yorkshire,  where  Ambrosius  (Eidiol)  routed  Hengist  and  his  Saxons,  in  the 
year  481,  and  put  them  to  a  disorderly  flight. — See  Gibson's  Camden,  Col, 
847 — Warrington,  p.  63. 

JVs  the  Bard  denominates  the  leader  a  hull  of  battle,  so  his  forces  vreie  the 
herds  of  the  roaring  Beli.  This  last  name,  though  conferred  upon  several 
princes,  was  properly  a  title  of  the  Solar  Divinity,  whose  sanctuary  the  Saxons 
had  profaned.  Prom  this  victory  obtained  by  his  votaries,  the  field  of  battle 
may  have  acquired  the  name  of  Maes  Beli,  ihe  field  of  Beli. 

+  That  is,  within  the  fortress  of  Caer  Conan,  which  the  Bard  describes  in 
a  subsequent  passage,  as  situated  upon  the  high  lands  of  the  Done. 

"  The  Done  rims  within  view  of  Connisborow,  an  old  castle,  called  in  British, 
■"  Caer  Conan,  and  situated  upon  a  rock ;  whither  (at  the  battle  of  Maisbelly, 
"  when  Aurelius  Ambrosius  routed  the  Saxons,  and  put  them  to  a  disorderly 
"  flight)  Hengist,  their  general,  retired,  to  secure  himself ;  and  a  few  days 
"  after,  took  the  field  against  the  Britons,  who  pursued  him,  and  with  whom  he 
"  engaged  a  second  time,  which  proved  fatal,  both  to  himself  and  his  army. 
"  For  the  Britons  cut  off  many  of  them,  and  taking  him  prisoner,  beheaded 
"  him." — Camden.  Ibid. 

It  appears  by  this  paragraph  of  Aneurin,  that  previous  to  the  last  desperate 
engagement,  Hengist  had  sent  to  the  British  commander  a  flag  of  truce,  bear- 
ing his  own  arms  j  which  Consisted  of  a  white  prancing  horse,  upon  a  red  field. 

Verstegan,  p.  131. 


Again,  we  are  conjared  by  heaven,  that  he  might  be  re- 
ceived into  protection. 

"  Let  him  enjoy  the  kindness  which  he  displayed  in  his 
"  stabbing  assault!  The  warriors,;  since  the  time  of  his  fa- 
"  mous  plot,  have  fought  with  one  design --thait  his  host 
"  might  press  the  ground !" 

.       SONG  XVI. 

"   AM  DEYNNI  DEYLAW  DRYLEN."— 'p.  7. 

The  Death  of  the  Bard  at  the  Feast-y-the  Resentment  and. 
Revenge  of  Eidiol  and  the  Britons. 

Foe  the  piercing  of  the  skilful  and  most  learned  man ; 
for  the  fair  corpse  which  fell  upon  the  sod  ;  for  the  cutting 
of  his  hair  from  his  head ;  round  the  sethereal  (temple)* 
of  the  eagle  of  Gwydien,^  G  wyddhwchj  turned  his  protect- 
ing spear — the  image  of  the  master  whom  he  adoTed. 

A  A 

•  Atnyr,  the  slcy,  in  this  passage,  and  Wyhr,  which  has  the  same  import,  in 
the  works  of  Taliesin,  seems  to  imply  a  building,  which,  like  Stonebenge,  and 
other  British  temples,  is  open  t»  the  shy.  Thus  Taliesin — "  A  holy  sanctuary 
"  there  is  on  the  wide  lake,  a  city  not  protected  with  walls,  the  sea  surrounds 
'■  it.  Demandest  thou,  O  Britain,  to  what  this  can  be  meetly  applied  !  Before 
"  tke  lake  of  the  son  of  Erbin ,  let  thy  ox  be  stationed — there,  where  there  has 
"  been  a  retinue,  and  in  the  second  place,  a  procession,  and  in  eagle  aloft  in 
"  the  sky,  and  the  path  of-  Granwyn"  (Apollo).    Append.  No.  2. 

So  again ;  he  mentions  the  Druid   of  Wybr  Geirivnydd,    the  ethereal  (tem-, 
pie)  0^  Geirwnydd. — Append.  No.  12. 

+  The  same  as  Gwydion,  the  Hermes  of  the  Britons. 

t  The«iiid  boar — anepitliet  Applied  to  EidioU 


Morien*  defended  the  blessed  sanctuary — the  basis,  and 
chief  place  of  distribution  of  the  source  of  energy,  of  the 
most  powerful,  and  the  most  ancient.f — She  is  transpierced ! 
Though  Bradwen  J  (the  treacherous  dame)  was  a  damsel, 
she  fell— the  just  expiation  for  Gwenabwy  (the  fair  corpse) 
the  son  of  Gvven  (the  lady). 

For  the  piercing  of  the  skilful,  most  learned  iflan,  the 
minister  §  bore  a  shield  in  the  action.  With  energy,  his 
sword  descends  on  the  pate.  In  Loegria,  his  stern  ones 
cut  their  way  before  the  prince.  He  _  who  handles  the 
wolf's  neck,  without  a  cudgel  in  his  hand,  will  have  a  rent 
in  his  garment.  .    ..    ,  . 

In  the  conflict  of  wrath  and  resentment,  the  treacherous 
lady  perished — she  did  not  escape. 

•  A  title  of  the  god,  and  hence  of  his  priest — as  hefore. 

-f- 1  must  leave  it  to  the  antiquaries,  to  ascertain  tliese  di^iinitieSi,  b;  theii; 

J  Kowona,  who  poisoned  Vortimer,    her  step-son — :thence  called,    the  fair 
corpse,  the  son  of  the  lady. 

$  Eidiol,  who,  though  he  seems  to  have  been  a  much  belter  Druid  thiR 
Christian,  held  the  rank  of  bishop,  iq  the  apostate  church  of  the  Britons. 



"    KUR   AR  VUR  CAER." — p.  7. 

This  Part  of  the  Gododin  is  badly  preserved.  The  various 
Readings  exceed  the  Number  of  Lines ;  yet  they  are  insuf- 
ficient to  make  out  the  Measure  or  the  Construction.  The 
Passage  seems,  however,  to  record  a  Taunt  upon  the  Con- 
duct of  our  Bard,  in  an  Affair  where  he  was  vested  with 
the  Command.  The  following  is  the  best  Sense  which  I 
can  pick  out  of  the  Heap  of  Fragments. 

The  gold,  without  the  city  walls,  was  dissipated.  The  ar- 
dent warrior  was  calling — "  Towards  the  city !"  But  ther^, 
a  meek  man  was  stationed,  with  his  shouts,  to  keep  aloof  the 
wandering  birds, 

Syll  of  Vireun  reports,  in  addition,  that  from  the  circum- 
stance of  the  Llwy  (river?)  the  army  was  led  round  the 
flood,  so  that,  at  the  hour  of  dawn,  the  officers  did  not  act 
in  concert. — 

When  thou,  O  toiler  of  panegyric,  wast  protecting  the 
ear  of  corn  on  the  height,  (if  ravagers  may  be  deemed  wor- 
thy of  credit)  there  was  free  access  to  Din  Drei :  there 
was  wealth  for  him  who  had  courage  to  fetch  it :  there  was 
a  city  for  the  army  that  should  have  resolution  to  enter. 

The  Bard  replies — 

Felicity  is  iiot  claitaed  where  success  has  been  wanting. 

AA  2 


Though  there  be  a  hundred  men  in  one  house — I  know  the 
cares  iti  which  I  am  involved — the  chief  of  the  men  mu8t 
defray  the  charge.  •    ■ 


"   NYT  WYF  VYNAWC  BXIN." — p.  7. 

The  Bard,  who  is  a  Prisoner  of  War,  alludes  to  tie  preced- 
ing Sarcasm,  and  declares  the  Circnnistarices  undei^  which 
his  So?igs  were  composed. 

I  AM  not  violent  nor  querimonious :  I  will  not  avenge  my- 
self'on  the  petulant ;  nor  will  I  laugh  in  derision.  This 
parti'ele*  shall  drop  under  foot,  where  my  limbs  are  in- 
flamed, in  the  subterraneous  house,  by  the  iron  chain^  which 
passes  over  my  two  knees.  "^ 

'  Yet,  of  the  mead,  and  of  the  hlorn,  and  of  the  assembly 
6f  Cattraeth,  I,  Aneurin,  will  sing,  what  is  khown  to 
Taliesin,  who  imparts  to  ■  me  his  thoughts :  and  thus,  a 
sonnet  of  the  Gododin  is  finished,  before  the  dawn  of  day+. 

*  'this  contemptible  scoff. 

"'*"' i  .  '    ■  '  »    '.    • 

T  From   this  passage,  as  well  as  from  the  general  tenor  of  the  work,  it  IR 

evident  that  the  .Gododia  was  not  undertaken  as  one  single  poem,  with  a  re» 

gular  and  connected  design. 



"   GOROLED   GOGLEDB   GWR   AE    GOEUC." — p.  8. 

In  the  last  Song,  we  found  Aneurin  amusing  the  tedious 
Nights  of  his  Imprisonment,  with  the  Compgsition  of  his 
Sonnets.  But  now  he  has,  for  some  Time,  been  set  at 
large  by  a  Son  of  Llywarch.*  ji  considerable  Interval 
must,  therefore,  have  elapsed,  since  the  Date  of  the  pre- 
ceding Composition, 

The  Bard  begins  with  a  Tribute  of  Gratitude  to  his  Bene- 
factor ;  and  then  passes,  with  some  Address,  to  the  Subject 
of  the  fatal  Feast.  He  enumerates  the  Fields  where  the 
British  Warriors  had  fought,  under  Vortimer;  but  the 
,  Paragraph  which  confains  this  Catalogue  is  very  imperfect, 
and  the  Sense  is  collected,  with  some  Difficulty,  out  of  a 
Mass  of  various  Readings.  The  Song  concludes  with  some 
Allusions  to  the  Retaliation  of  the  Britons  in  subsequent 

The  chief  renown  of  the  North  f  has  a  hero  acquired, 

*  Generally  supposed  lo  have  been  Llywarch  Hin,  the  celebrated  Bard. 
But  here  a  difficulty  presents  itself.  Llywarch  is  the  reputed  author  of  au 
Elegy  upon  the  death  of  Cadwallon,  the  son  of  Cadvan,  which  happened  . 
about  the  year  646 :  and  it  is  obvious,  that  the  son  of  a  man  who  was  living  in 
the  year  640,  could  not  have  liberated  Aneurin,  who  .had  witnessed  the  ma^ 
sacre  of  472. 

I  think  it  probable,  that  Aneurin's  friend  was  the  son  of  Llywarch  Hin  ;  but 
that  Llywarch,  who  is  known  to  have  flourished  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixth 
century,  could  not  have  been  the  author  of  the  Elegy  in  question. 

The  piece  was  anonymous :  but  some  old  copyist  thinking  it  worth  preserving, 
transcribed  it  into  abook  which  contained  some  of  Llywarch's  genuine  works — 
hence  it  has  passed  under  his  name. 

f  Our  author  was  a  Korthumbriaq  Britoo^  and  so  was  Llywarch  H^n. 


of  gentle  disposition — a  liberal  Lord,  who  has  not  been 

Yet  earth  does  not  support,  nor  has  mother  borne,  a  war- 
rior so  illustrious,  when  clad  in  steel.  By  the  force  of  his 
bright  sword,  he  protected  me ;  from  the  horrid,  subterra- 
neous prison  he  brought  me  forth — from  the  inclosure  of 
death,  from  a  hostile  region.  Such  is  Ceneu,  the  son  of 
Llywarch,  energetic  and  bold. 

He  would  not  have  brooked  the  disparagement  of  a  so- 
lemn Bardic  meeting,*  in  the  character  of  a  Seneschal, 
with  his  vessels  full  of  mead.  For  deeds  of  violence,  he 
'Would  have  supplied  swords ;  he  would  have  furnished  wea- 
pons for  war :  but  with  his  arm  he  would  have  supported  his 

But  before  the  band  of  Gododin  and  Bernicia,"f-  booths 
for  horses  were  prepared  in  the  hall :  there  was  streaming 
gore,  and  blood-stained  armour,  and  the  long  knife :{:  to 
thrust  from  the  hand.  And  with  speed  were  they  distin- 
guished into  tribes,  whilst  the  Lady  and  her  paramour  § 
were  stowing  their  parties,  an  armed  man,  and  a  man  un- 
armed, by  turns. II 

•  Alluding  to  the  "  Gorsedd,"  or  solemn  Bardic  assembly,  ia  which  Hengist 
li^d  p^rp^tr^ted  his  atrocigus  d^ed. 

+  The  Bard  being  a  Northern  Britoq,  mentions  hjs  own  countrymen  wkh  a 
patriotic  distinction,  though  they  h^d  constituted  only  a  part  of  the  dcvoteij 

i  The  sear,  with  which  Heugist's  party  wer«  privately  armed. 

%  Bowena  and  Vortigern. 

||  The  Saxons,  wearing  their  corslets,  and  armed  with  the  dagger^  the 
Britons  totally  unarmed. 

"  By  the  contrivance  of  Hengist,  they  were  placed  with  his  train,  alter- 
~"  natel^,  at  the  tables,  under  the  pretence  of  confidence,  aijd  of  a  f5ien(ll» 
"  intercourse  with  each  other."— Wflrringlim,  p.  59. 


These  were  not  men  who  would  stab  and  fly.  They  had 
been  the  generous  defenders  of  every  region — at  TJech 
Leuca,  at  the  stone  of  Titleu,  at  Leudvri,  at  Llech  Levdir, 
at  Gardith,  at  Tithragon,  at  Tegvare,  in  front  of  Gododin^ 
at  Ystre  Annan,  at  the  course  of  Gododin,  and  at  Ragno.* 
Close  by  his  hand,  was  that  hand  which  had  directed  the 
splendour  of  battle,  the  branch  of  Caerwys,  though  he  had 
been  shattered  by  a  tempestuous  season — a  tempestuous 
season,  which  had  favoured  the  ships  of  the  alien  host. 

To  form  a  rank  before  th^  royal  power,  we  were  allured 
— it  was  to  our  ruin !  Deeply  did  they  design — sharply  did 
they  pierce  the  whole  of  our  assembly. 

But  the  chief  of  the  projecting  shield  f  has  had  his  van 
broken,  before  the  bull  of  battle,  |  whose  enemies  tremble 
in  sorrow,  since  the  battle  of  active  tumult  at  the  border  of 
Ban  Carw.| 

Round  the  border  of  Ban  Carw,  the  freckled  fingers  K 
had  broken  the  sprigs,  to  know  who  should  be  overwhelmed, 
who  should  conquer — to  know  who  should  be  routed,  who 
should  triumph. 

•  The  scenes  of  Vortimer's  battles,  in  which  these  heroes  had  distinguished 
themselves.  The  paragraph  is  greatly  injured  by  time,  and  the  present  cata- 
logue is  collected  from  the  various  readings,  including  those  which  are  inserted 
in  the  text.    W.  Archaiol.  p.  13, 

+  Hengist. 

j:  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosias,  as  befor?;     . 

^  Probably,  the  old  name  of  Maes  Beli,  before  it  had  obtained  a  new 
Resignation,  from  the  victory  of  the  £ritons. 

II  Hengist,  who  is  e'sewhpre  called  Vyvynawl  Vrych,  the  freckled  intruder, 
is  here  repiejEnted  as  consulting  his  lots  upon  the  event  of  the  approaohiDg 


**  The  native  is  roused— ^the  invader  is  subdraed."* 

In  Rhiwdrech,  f  he  who  is  not  bold,  will  fail  of  his  pur- 
pose.   Victory  is  not  for  him  who  dreads  being  overtaken. 

-^^•>^*- J, 


"   NY    MAT   WANPWYT." — p.  8. 

^his  little  Dialogue  may  be  supposed  to  have  passed  between 
Rowena  and  a'native  Briton.  It  forcibly  paints  the  FeeU 
ings  of  the  Times^ 


Not  meetly  was  the  shield  pierced  iipon  the  side  of  the 
horse  J — not  meetly  did  the  man  of  the  grey  stone  pillars 
mount  the  lofty  steed  § — dark  was  his  spear. 


It  was  dark :  but  darker,  by  far,  is  thy  husband  in  the 
cell,  II  gnawing  the  jaw  of  a  buck. 

■  « I        .III.         ■■   ■!    in        .1  11       •  ni    I  ■  ■    « 

•  This  sentence  Contains  the  omen,  collected  from  the  lots. 

+  "  The  cliff  of  superiority,  or  prevalence." — ^This  seems  to  be  the  name 
which  the  Britons  gave  to  the  scene  of  Hengist's  last  fatal  action,  near  the  rocfc 
of  Caer  Conan,  where  he  was  taken  and  beheaded. 

J  The  names  of  Hengist  and  Horsa  equally  imply  a  hone.  One  of  tbese 
commanders  had  been  slain,  and  the  other  beaten ;  it  is,  therefore,  uncertain 
which  of  them  is  here  meant. 

§  Eidiol,  the  priest  of  the  great  temple,  who  is  lepresented  as  seated  upon 
bis  steed,  when  he  filled  the  office  of  Stneschal. 

\\  Vort^gern,  who  was  confined  by  Hengist  after  the  massacre,  till  he  pu»- 
chased  his  liberty  by  the  cession  of  part  of  bis  dominions. 



ttope  he  enjoys  it 


I  hope  he  enjoys  it — may  he  be  supplied  with  a  few 
iaws ! 

BRITON  (indignantly). 

How  happily  did  our  Adonis  come  to  his  Venus! 

"  Let  the  Lady  of  the  sea  (says  he),  let  Bradwen  only 
"  come  hither,  and  then  (O  Hengist!)  thou  mayest  do — 
"  -tholrmayest  kill ;  thou  mayest  burn — worse  than  Morien 
"  thou  canst  not  do."* 

But  thou  hast  regarded  neither  moderation  nor  coun- 
sel, thou  beheader,f  with  the  haughty  countenance!  Thou, 
O  Venedotian,  didst  not  attend  to' the  great  swelling  sea 
of  knights,  who  would  give  no  accommodation  to  the 

•  A  sarcastic  repetition  of  the  language  supposed  to  haye  been  addressed  by 
Vortigern  to  Hengist,  when  he  sued  for  the  hand  of  Bowena. 

+  Vortigern,  the  Venedotian.  "  Gwrtheyrn  Gwynedd,"  who  had  ascended 
the  throne,  by  causing  his  cousin  Constans  to  be  beheaded  in  his  bed ;  ^nd 
afterwards,  by  overruling  the  voice  of  the  British  council,  had  invited  the 
Saxons  into  Britain  to  support  his  tottering  cause,  and  to  oppose  the  Ficts, 
whose  resentment  be  had  provoked,  by  imputing  to  the  guards  of  that  nation 
^     liis  own  sacrilegious  crime. . 



"    GODODIN    GOMYNAF." — p.  8. 

The  Bard,  observing  the  Calamities  of  his  Country,  reflects 
upon  the  Circumstance  of  the  fatal  Banquet,  which  had 
deprived  the  Britons  of  their  best  Supporters. 

GoDODiN  !  upon  thj'  account,  I  deplore  the  dales  beyond 
the  ridge  of  Drum  Essyd.  A  servant,*  greedy  of  wealth, 
but  void  of  shame,  by  the  counsel  of  his  son,-|-  sets  thy 
heroes  on  high.  Not  mean  was  the  place  appointed  for 
confirence,  before  the  perpetual  fire.J  From  twilight  to 
twilight,  the  sweet  liquor  is  quaifed  by  the  stranger,  who 
glances  at  the  purple.^  He  kills  the  defenceless,  but  melo- 
dious minister  ||  of  the  bulwark  of  battle — ^liis  inseparable 
companion — whose  voice  was  like  that  of  Aneurin. 

At  once^  arose  the  warriors  of  the  chief — In  Cattraetli— a 
noisy  and'  impetuous  mob^to  pay  the  reward  of  the  mead 

in  the  court,  and  the  beverage  of  wine. Between  tlie 

two  ranks  a  spear  was  extended  by  a  dignified  knight,**  in 

*  Hengist,  who  had  been  a  mercenary  captain, 

+  Vorligern,  who  had  married  the  daughter  of  Hengist,  and  whom  the  Bard 
repeatedly  stigmatises  as  the  adviser  of  tiie  plot. 

f  Or  the  fire  of  Mcithin.     We  have  frequent  allusions  to  the  cell  of  the 
sacred  fire. 

§  Hengist,  whose  ambition  aimed  at  the  sovereignty  of  Britain. 

11  The  Bard,  Owen,  whose  fate  is  so  often  deplored. 

X  Upon  Hengist's  signal,  the  Saxons  made  a  sudden  and  general  assault* 

•*  Eidiol,  who  is  styled  the  bull  of  batUe. 


defence  of  Gododin.    The  pinnacle  of  renown  is  the  ra- 
diant bull  of  battle. 

At  once  arose  the  warriors  of  the  associated  King — strangers 
to  the  land — their  deed  shall  be  proclaimed.  The  stranger 
with  the  gorgeous  robe,  rolls  down  our  heroes  in^he  place 
where  the  Elain  (Bards)  we're  in  full  harmony.*  Amongst 
the  weapons  of  the  freckled  chief,  "I-  thou  couldst  not  have 
seen  the  rod.;}:  With  the  base,  the  worthy  can  have  no 
concord.  The  sea  rovers  cannot  defend  their  outrageous 
deed  with  their  steel  blades,  ready  to  shed  blood. 

At  once  arose  the  warriors  of  the  associated  King — stran- 
gers to  the  land — their  deed  shall  be  proclaimed.  In  close 
rank,  with  blades,  there  was  slaughtering ;  and  the  mah  of 
carnage  prevailed  over  the  hero. 

The  experienced  warriors  who  had  assembled,  were  all 
assaulted  at  once  with  An  unanimous  stroke.  Short  were 
their  lives — long  is  the  grief  of  their  friends.     Seven  times 

their  number  of  LiJegrians  had  they  slain.§ From  this 

conflict  arose  the  screams  of  their  wives,  and  many  a  mother 
has  the  tear  upon  her  cheek. 

*  The  precincts  bf  the  great  Druidical  temple. 

f  Hengist,  as  befoife. 

i  The  pacific  iusigne  of  the  Batd — in  song  S5,  it  is  called  the  ironcA. 

f  In  the  wats  of  Vortiiqer. 



"    NY    WNAETHPWYD    NEUADD." — ^p.  9. 

The  Bard  celebrates  the  Fame  of  the  great  Temple,  and  of 
Eidiol,  who  bravely  defended  ity  after  the  outrageous  As- 
sault of  the  Saxons. 

Never  was  a  hall  formed  so  complete — nor  a  lion  so 
generous,  in  the  presence  of  the  lion  of  the  greatest  course,* 
as  Cynon  of  the  gentle  breast,  the  most  comely  Lord. 

The  fame  of  the  cityf  extends  to  the  remotest  parts — 
the  established  inclosure  of  the  band  of  the  harmonious 


And  of  all  that  I  have  seen,  or  shall  see  hereafter,  une- 
qualled in  his  conduct,  is  the  brandisher  of  arms.  Most 
heroic  in  -energy,  with  the  sharpest  blade,  he  slew  the  ra- 
vagers.  Like  rushes  they  fell  before  his  hand.  O  son  of 
Clydnaw,  §  of  the  lasting  fame,  to  thee  will,  I  sing  a  song 
of  praise,  without  boundary,  without  end ! 

If  in  the  banquet  of  mead  and  wine,  thei/^  sacrificed  to 

•  The  sun. — Eidiol,  or  Cynon  (the  prince),  the  chief  priest  of  the  temple,  is 
also  styled  a  Uan. 

+  The  temple,  "surrounded  by  a  vallum,  which  included  the  dwellings  of  the 

J  Victory, — This  seems  to  be  a  title  of  Kid,  or  Ceridvien,  the  British  Ceres. 

*§  'I  Ship-bearer"— he  who  carried  the  sacred  ark  in  ths  British  mysteries. 

B  The  Saxons.  "■ 


shmghtev  the  mother  of  spaliatiom,  ihe  energetic  Eidiol* 
aiso  honoured  her  before  the  mount,  in  the  presence  of 
the  god  of  victory,  the  King  who  rises  in  light,  and  as- 
cends the  sky. 

Whilst  the  assembled  train  were  accumulating,,  like  a 
darkening  swarm,  around  him,  without  the  semblance  of  a 
retreat,  his  exerted  wisdom  planned  a  defence*  agaiflast  the 
paUid  outcasts,  with  their  sharp-pointed  weaponis. 

Before  the  vigilant  son  of  harmony  they  fled^  upon  the* 
awaking  of  the  mother  of  Rheiddinf  (the  Radiant),  leader 
of  the  din. 


"   O    WINVETTH    A    MEDDVEITH." — p.  Q. 

On  the  calamitous  Consequences  of  the  fatal  Banquet. 

From  the  drinking  of  wine  and  mead,  to  strife  proceeded 
the  mail-clad  warriors. J  No  tale  of  slaughter  have  I 
known,  which  records  so  complete  a  destruction,  as  that  of 
the  assembly,  who  had  confidently  met  before  Cattraetb. 

*  The  interposing  hnight,  to  wliotn  the  Barfl  so  often  alludes.  This  is  the  first 
time  that  his  name  is  introduced ;  but  his  character  is  easily  distinguished  by 
the  identity  of  the  action  ascribed  to  him. 

t  Apollo,  or  the  sun — by  his  mother,  I  think  ^e  Bard  means  Aurora,  the 
davm !-  he  frequently  tells  us,  that  the  action  took  place  at  the  dawn. 

t  The  Saxons,  wKo  wore  their  corslets,  or  coats  of  raaiU 


One  man  alone  returned,  of  the  retinue  of  most  de- 
plorable mountain  chief.*  One  alone,  out  of  three  hun- 
dred, who  had  hastened  to  the  feast  of  wine  and  mead — 
men  renowned  in  difficulty,  prodigal  of  their  lives,  who  had 
jovially  caroused  together  in  the  well-furnished  banquet, 
copiously  regaling  upon  mead  and  wine. 

From  the  retinue  of  the  mountain  chief,  ruin  has  ex- 
tended to  us ;  and  I  have  lost  my  chief,  and  my  sincere 
friends.  Of  three  hundred  nobles  who  hastened  to  Cat- 
traeth,  alasl  none  have  returned,  but  one  man  alone. 

In  the  present  insurrection,  confident  was  the  son  of  the 
stranger.  Easy  Was  he  in  his  discourse,  if  he  were  not 
jocular — hence  the  delusive  security  of  Gododin.f 

After  the  wine  and  mead,  he  who  had  been  unrestrained, 
is  left  motionless  upon  the  course,  and  the  red-stained  war- 
rior mounts  the  steeds  of  the  knight,  who  had  been  formi- 
dable in  the  morning. 

*  Out  of  three  hundred  and  sixty-three,  we  are  told  that  three  escaped ; 
or,  as  it  is  elsewhere  expressed,  one  man  out  of  a  liundred :  but  from  this 
passage  it  appears,  that  only  one  of  these  pertained  to  three  hundred  ot  the 
first  rank,  which  composed  the  more  immediate  retinue  of  Vortigem,  or  the 
fountain  chief. 

+  Hengist  had  carefully  disguised  his  sentiments,  lest  he  should  excite  a  pre* 
nature  suspicion  of  his  design. 



"    ANGOR    DEOE    DAEN." p.  10. 

-  An  Invocation  to  tibe  Sun,  in  which  the  Destruction  of  the 
Foe  is  predicted.  The  Praise  of  Eidiol  and  the  British 
Patriots,  who  retaliated  upon  the  Saxons.  Some  Accomit 
of  the  religious  Ceremonies  at  the  solemn  Meeting. 

Angor,  thon  producer  of  good,  thou  serpent  wh» 
piercest  the  sullen  ones,  thou  wilt  trample  upon  those  who 
are  clad  in  strong  mail,  in  the  front  of  the  army. 

In  behalf  of  thy  supplicant  wilt  thou  arise;  thou  wilt 
guard  him  from  the  sppiler :  thou  wilt  trample  the  spear- 
men in  the  day  of  battle,  in  the  dank  entrenchment,  like 
the  mangling  dwarf,*  whose  fury  prepared  ar  banquet  for 
birds  in  the  tumultuous  fight. 

Just  art  thou  named,  from  thy  righteous  deed,  thou 
leader,  director,  and  supporter  of  the  course  of  battle. 
O  Meriujf  son  of  Madien,  happy  was  thy  birth! 

It  is  an  imperative  duty,  to  sing  the  complete  acquisition 
of  the  warriors  who,  round  Cattraeth,  made  a  tumultuous 
rout.  The  authors  of  the  bloody  confusion  were  trampled 
under  feet.     Trampled  were  the  stern  ones,  whose  mead 

•  Neddig  Nar — an  abortion,  cut  out  of  the  womb  of  his  Bother. 

+  Otherwise,   son  of  Selthenin— Saturn,  Noah.    The  Welsh  monks   have 
conreited  him  into  a  saint. 


had  mantled  in  the  homs :  and  the  carnage  made  By  the 
interposers,  after  the  battle  had  been  roused,  cannot  be 
related  by  the  cauldron  of  K6d,*  though  it  excel  in 

It  is  an  imperative  duty,  to  sing  the  perfection  a)f  re- 
nown— the  tumult  of  fire,  of  thunder  and  of  tempest — the 
exerted  bravery  of  the  knight,t  who  interposed,  the  red 
reaper,  whose  soul  pants  for  war.  The  strenuous,  hat  worth- 
less man  has  he  decollated  in  battle.  The  multitude  of  the 
land  shall  hear  of  his  deed. 

With  his  shield  upon  his  shoulder,  has  he  poured  forth 
an  effusion  (of-  blood)  as  it  were  wine  out  of  crystal 
vessels.  He  who  extorted  silver  for  his  mead,  has  paid 
gold  in  return,J  and  Gwaednerth,^  son  of  the  supreme  king 
has  had  his  banquet  of  wine. 

It  is  an  imperative  duty  to  sing  the  illustrious  patriots, 
who,  after  the  fatal  stroke,  replenished  the  stream  (of  he- 
roism) whose  hand  satisfied  the  hunger  of  the  "brown  eagles, 
and  provided  food  for  the  beasts  of  prey. 

Of  those  who  went  to  Cattraeth,  wearers  of  the  gold 
chains,  upon  the  message  of  the  mountain  chief,  sovereign- 

•  Kihio  Kid — the  same  as  Pair  Ceridwen — the  Cauldron,  or  sacred  Vase- 
of  the  British  Ceres — figuratively,  the  liardic  lore. 

+  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius,  who,  in  the  year^481,  beheaded  Hengist  at  Caer 

i  The  meaning  is,  that  the  Saxons  paid  dear  for  their  outrage  at  the  feast. 

§  Force  of  Uood-~ot  he  who  sheds  blood  by  violence,  an  epithet  of  the  British 


of  the  natives;*  it  is  manifest  there  came  not  to  Gododin, 
in  behalf  of  the  Britons,  a  hero  from  a  distant  region,  who 
vas  better  than  Cynon.f 

It  is  an  imperative  duty,  to  sing  the  complete  associates, 
the  cheerful  ones  of  the  Ark  of  the  teorld.+  Hu  was  not 
without  his  selection;  in  the  Circle  of  the  world,  it  was 
his  choice  to  have  Eidiol,  the  harmonious:  for,  notwith- 
standing their  gold,  their  great  steeds,  and  the  mead  they 
drank,  only  one  dignified  man  returned  from  thence — the 
president  of  the  structure  of  the  splendid  one,  the  grandson 
of  Enovant. 

It  is  an  imperative  duty,  to  sing  the  illustrious  patriots, 
who  came  on  the  message  of  the  mountain  chief,  sovereign 
of  the  natives,  and  the  dav.ghter  of  the  lofty  Eudav,§  the 
same  who  selected  the  unarmed,  and  dressed  in  purple,  those 
who  were  destined  to  be  slausfhtered. 


In  the  festival  of  May,]]  they  celebrated  the  praise  of  the 
holy  ones,  in  the  presence  of  the  purifying  fire,  which  vi-as 

B  B 

*  Vortigern,  the  supreme  king  of  the  Britons. 

+  "  The  prince" — Eidiol  or  Ambrosias,  who  liad  returned  from  Armorica. 

i  The  Arkite  mythology  of  ttiis  passage  deserves  the  attention,  of  the  curious. 
The  great  temple  was  the  ark  and  the  circle  of  the  world.  Hu,  the  patriarch, 
was  the  divinity,  and  Eidiol,  his  chosen  priest — Hu,  at  the  same  lime,  wus 
Aeroit,  the  Arkite — jnK?  pr^  tEe  splendid  one — such  is  the  mixture  of  Arkite 
and  Sabimi  superstition. 

§  From  Au — and  Tav — the  false  usurper. — The  lady  liere  intended  is 
Rowena,  the  daughter  of  Hengist;  for  we  have  already  seen,  that  she,  in 
conjunction  with  her  paramour,  Vortigern,  disposed  the  ranks  at  the  feast. 

II  Meiwyr,  the  Mny-men — The  meeting  took  place,  at  the  solemn  festival  of 
th?  Britons,  in  the  beginning  of  May. — "tha  fire  here  mentioned  is  well  known 
to  the  Irish,  by  the  name  of  Bealteinc.  See  the  word  in  Shaw's  Gaiic  and  liii^liilt. 


made  to  ascend  on  high.  On  the  Tuesday,  they  wore  their  , 
dark  garments — on  the  Wednesday,  they  purified  their  fair 
attire  on  the  Thursday,  they  truly  performed  their  due  rites 
(devoed) — on  the  Friday,  the  victims  were  conducted  round 
the  circle — on  the  Saturday,  their  united  exertion  was  dis- 
;played  without  the  circular  dance  (didwrn)-— on  the  Sunday, 
the  men  with  red  blades  were  conducted  round  the  circle — ou 
the  Monday,  was  seen  the  deluge  of  gore,  up  to  the  belt.* 

After  the  toil,  the  man  of  Gododin,  upon  his  return  be- 
fore the  tents  of  Madawc,  reports  but  one  man  in  a  hun- 
dred, who  came  from  thence. 


"    MOCHBWYREAWC  YM  MOEE." — p.  10. 

IViis  Song  contains  many  Particulars  of  the  fatal  Assault ; 
of  the  Sanctity  of  the  Bardic  Temple,  and  of  Eidiol's 
Address  and  Heroism,  in  defending  it. 

At  early  morn  arose^'  the  tumult  of  the  gate,  before  the 
course.-f-    There  was  a  breach ;  but  there  was  a  heap,  per- 

•  This  passage  describes  some  of  the  regular  ceremonies  of  the  meeting, 
•which,  upon  the    present  occasion,  unexpectedly    closed,  -with   a  deplorable 


+  The  feast  was  celebrated,  and  the  outrage  committed,  upon  the  Cursus, 
at  the  distance  of  half  a  mile  from  the  temple,  and  to  which  one  of  the  avenues 
leads.  Upon  this  avenue,  or  perhaps,  in  the  very  gate,  or  passage  of  the 
vallum,  which  surrounds  the  structure,  and  which  was  probably  fortified  with 
a  strong  palisade ;  Eidiol  kindled  a  fire  to  obstruct  the  irruption  of  the  Saxons, 
who  intended  to  plunder  the  temple, 


V  vaded  with  fire.  Like  a  boar  didst  thou  protect  the  mount, 
where  was  the  treasure  of  the  associated  ones— the  place  was 
stained  with  the  dark  gore  of  hawks.* 

Suddenly  aroused,  in  a -moment,  after  kindling  the 
avenue,-^  before  theboiandary,  and  conducting  his  associates 
in  firm  arrays— in  the  front  of  a  hundred,  he  thrusts  forwards 
— "  It  was  horrid  that  ye  (Saxons) J  should  make  a  flood 
"  of  gore  in  the  same  merriment,  with  which  ye  regaled 
"  with  mead.  Was  it  brave  in  you  to  kill  a  defenceless^ 
"  man,  with  the  cruel  and  sudden  stroke  of  a  sword  ?  How 
"  outrageous  were  it  for  an  enemy  to  slay  a  man  not  equally 
"  armed !  But  he  (your  chief)  has  descended^  with  a  sud- 
"  den  and  promiscuous  stroke. — The  skilful  chief  of  song 
"  was  not  to  be  outraged.  To  kill  him,  when  he  carried 
"  the  branch,  was  a  violation  of  privilege.  It  was  a  pri- 
mary law,,  that  Owen  should  ascend  the  course — that 
this  branch  should  whisper  before  the  fierce  onset,  the 

B    B    2 

*  These  birds  of  prey  seem  to  imply  the  Saxons,  though  the  term  is  often 
used,  to  denote  the  British  princes. 

+  Aber,  any  passage  or  outlet. 

J  This  speech  is  put  into  the  mouth  of  Eidiol,  and  evidently  addressed  to  the 

§  That  is,  the  Bard,  who,  as  we  find,  was  named  Owen.  He  carried  the  sacred 
branch,  and  chaunted  the  pacific  songs  of  Llywy,  the  British  Proserpine.     That 
Owen  was  invested  with  the  prerogative  of  a  Druid,  appears  from  the  striking 
coincidence  of  this  passage,  with  the  testimony  of  Diodorus,  respecting  those 
ancient  priests. — Lib.  V.  C  31. 

The  passage  is  thus  translated  by  Dr.  Henry. 

"  No  sacred  rite  was  ever  performed  without  a  Druid ;  by  whom,  as  being 
"  the  favourites  of  the  gods,  and  depositaries  of  their  counsels,  the  people  of- 
"  fered  all  their  sacrifices,  thanksgivings,  and  prayers ;  and  were  perfectly 
"  submissive  and  obedient  to  their  commands.  Nay,  so  great  was  the  vene- 
"  ration  in  whicli  they  were  held,  that  when  two  hostile  armies,  infiamei  with 
"  warlike  rage,  with  swords  drawn,  and  spears  extended,  were  an  the  point  af 
"  engaging  in  battle;  at  their  intervention,  they  sheathed  tjteir swords,  and  becam* 
"ealm  and  peaceful," — Hist,  of  Great  Britain,  B.I.  Chap.  g. 



"  effectual  songs,  which  claimed  obedient  attention — the 

"  songs  of  Llywy,*   the   assuager  of  tumult   and  battle. 

"  Then  would  the  sword  retire  to  the  left  side ;  the  warrior,, 

"  with  his  hand,  would  support  the  empty  corslet,  and  the 

"  sovereign,  from  his   treasure  chest,  would  search  out  the 

"  precious  reward." 

The  placid  Eidiol  felt  the  heat  of  the  splendid  Grannawr,-^i 
(Apollo)  when  the  maid  (Llywy)  was  treated  with  outrage — 
even  she  who  was  supreme  in  judgment,  possessing  the 
steeds  with  bright  trappings,  and  the  transparent- shield. 

His  (Eidiol's)  associates  join  the  fray,  determined  to 
stand  or  fall,  whilst  he,  their  wasteful  leader,  conducts  the 
war ;  even  he  who  loves  the  native  race — the  mighty  reaper, 
whose  energy  stains  the  green  sod  with  gore. 

They  sound  for  steeds — for  trappings  they  sound-;  whilst 
over  his  temples,  he  binds  the  defensive  band,  and  the 
image  of  death,  scatters  desolation  in  the  conflict.  In  the 
first  onsfet,  the  lances  are  couched  to  the  side,  and  for  a 
light  in  the  course,  shrubs  blaze  upon  the  spears.  Thus 
fought  the  musical  tribe,;};  for  the  injury  of  thy  cell,  O  Kid, 
and  of  the  conclave  where  he  resided,  who  merited  the  de- 
licious, potent  mead. 

With  the  dawn,   the  ardent  herb  makes  the   slaughter 

*  Jhe  British  Proserpine,  who  was  sjinbolized  by  the  Ovum  ilBguiniit»i  and 
to  ^yhom  the  mystic  brunch  was  sacred, 

+  Grannawr  Gwjn— Taliesiu  calls  him  Gran  wyn, 

t  The  half  pagan  Bards,  who,  in  that  age,  constituted  the  clergy  of  tha 



clash,  O  fairKSd,*  thou  ruler  of  the  loegrian  tribes ;  and 
in  his  resentment,  he  punishes  .the  Vexatious  hirelingsf-— 
His  renown  shall  be  heard  I 


"   GWAN  ANHON  BVU  VEDD." — p.  11. 

'the  Alliteration  connects  this  with  the  preceding,  and  the 
Action  is  ascribed  to  the  same  Person ;  but  these  Lines  evi- 
dently refer  to  the  Vengeance  which  Eidiol,  or  Ambrosius, 
wreaked  upon  Vortigem ;  of  which  zve  have  some  further 
Account  in  Song  30. 

He  assaults  the  infamous  contriver  of  ruin,  at  the  mead 
banquet — the  same  who  grasped  the  violent  spear  of  Gwy- 
nedd — the  bull  of  the  host,  who  had  transgressed  the  laws  of 
princely  battle :  though  he  bad  kindled  the  land  before  his 
fall,  the  superior  band  of  Gododin  provided  his  grave. 

Involved  in  vapours, J  is  he  that  was  accustomed  to  ar- 
mies.    The  sovereign,  but  bitter-handed  commander  of  the 

*  The  British  Ceres,   the  same   as  Ceridwtn,    the  motlier  of  Llywy,  or 

+  Or  slaves  of  the  Venedotian—a  phrase  by  which  the  Bard  reproaches  the 

t  Vortigern's  castle,  in  North  Wales,  was  burnt  to  the  ground  by  Ambrosius, 
and  the  unfortunate  Icing  perished  in  the  flames. — Warrington,  p.  Si. 


forces,  was  endowed  with  talents,  but  vehement  and  arro- 
gant" In  the  feast,  he  was  not  harsh  to  his  associates,  who 
might  remove,  and  possess  his  valuable  treasures ;  but  in 
no  respect  was  he  a  benefactor  to  his  country. 


"    AN   (SELWIE!" p.  11. 

The  Wars  of  the  Britons  and  Saxons  after  the  Massacre. 
The  Bravery  ofSidiol  or  Ambrosius,  with  some  Particulars 
of  his  Conduct  at  the  Moment  of  the  fatal  Catastrophe. 

We  are  called !  Tlie  sea  and  the  borders  are  in  conflict. 
Spears  are  mutiially  rushing — spears  of  thbse  whom  we  che- 
rished. There  is  need  of  Sharp  weapons.  Gashing  is  the 
sword.  The  Seaxes,  in  wild  uproar,  are  descending  on  the 
pate.  Before  the  hostile  bahd,  flaming  in  steel,  there  is  a 
prosperous  leader,  even-he  who  supported  the  steeds  and  the 
bloody  harness,*  on  the  red-stained  Cattraeth.  The  fore- 
most shaft  in  the  host  is  held  by.  the  consumer  of  towns,  the 
mighty,  dog  of  slaughter,  at  the  supreme  mount.-^- 

We  are  called !  To  the  bright  glory  of  conflict,  led  on 
by  the  hand  of  the  meritorious,  the  iron-clad,  chief,  the 

•  Alluding  probably  to  tbe  arms  of  Hengist,  namely,  a  prancing  steed,  upon 
a  red  field,  which  was  displayed  at  the  fatal  banquet. 

+  The  great  temple,  or  British  Moant  of  Judicature,  when  the  nobles,  wcra 
4lain  by  Hengist, 


Sovereign,  who  is  the  theme  of  the  Gododin,* — the  sove- 
reign, who  deplores  our  divisions. 

Before  Eidiolfy  the  energetic,  there  is  a  flame;,  it  will 
not  be  blown  aside.  Men  of  approved  worth  has  he  sta- 
tioned in  command.  The  firm  covering  guard  has  he 
placed  in  the  van. 

He  it  was,  who  vigorously  descended  upon  the  scattered 
foe.  When  the  cry  arose,  he  supported  the  main  weight. 
Of  the  retinue  of  the  mountain  chief,  none  escaped  but 
those  defenceless  ones,  whom  his  arm  protected. 

By  the  management  of  the  sea  rovers,  there  was  not  a 
shield  amongst  them.:[:  They  insisted  upon  a  clear  space  to 
light  the  area.  He§  who  carried  the  blue  gleaming  blade, 
put  back  his  hand,  whilst  our  chief  priest||  was  leaning 
upon  a  priest's  long  staff,  seated  upon  a  grey  steed,  as  go- 
vernor of  the  feast.  Beneath  the  blade,^  there  was  a  dread- 
ful fall  of  slaughter.  Nor  from  the  conflict  did  he**  fly — 

*  Eidiol  or  Ambrosius — ^the  undoubted  hero  of  the  Gododin. 

+  The  original  has  Eidyn,  the  living  one}  but  the  two  next  paragraphs 
clearly  evince,  that  Eidioi  is  the  person  intended, 

J  Though  shields  were  not  offensive  arms,  yet  their  admission  into  the  as- 
sembly, might  have  defeated  the  murderous  purpose  of  Hengist :  a  reason  was 
therefore  devised,  why  they  should  be  excluded.  It  was  pretended  that  their 
wide  orbs  would  obstruct  the  light  of  the  torches,  during  the  nightly  caroHsal. 
— ^The  Saxon  corslets  were  not  liable  to  the  same  objection, 

§  HengisK 

II  Eidiol — ^The  Britons  and  the  Germans  had  great  respect  for  their  horse* ; 
but  the  introducing  of  the  governor  of  the  feast  upon  his  steed,  was  a  whimsical 
rite,  whether  considered  as  religious  or  milttary. 

^  Of  Hengist  and  his  Saxons, 

**  Eidiol,  as  above. 


the  spearman,  mounted  upon  the  st^ed — he  who  did  the 
honouirs  of  the  banquet  of  delicious,  potent  mead.    , 

I  beheld  a  spectacle*  from  the  high  land  of  the  Done,  when 
they  were  descending  with  the  sacrifice  round  the  omen  fire. 
I  saw  what  was  usual,  in  a  town  closely  shut  up ;  and  dis- 
orderly men  were  pierced  with  agony. — I  saw  men  in  com- 
plete order,  approaching  with  a  shout,  and  carrying  the 
bead  of  the  freckled  intruder. f — May  the  ravens  devour  it! 


"    MAT  MTJDIG." — p.    12. 

Sequel  of  the  Acts  of  Ambrosius,  after  the  Fall  of  Hengist, 
with  a  Hint  respecting  the  Manner  of  his  Death. 

The  light  and  bleached  bones  of  the  aliens  are  removed 
by  the  fortunate  chief :  his  blue  banners  are  displayed :  whilst 
the  foe  ranges  the  sea,  Gwrawl  (Aurelius)  is  in  the  watery 
region,  with  a  mighty  host.  The  magnanimous  triumphs: 
disarmed  is  the  feeble.  It  was  his  primary  order,  to  make  ~ 
a  descent,  before  the  ships  of  the  royal  force,  with  propul- 
sive strokes,  in  the  face  of  blood,  and  of  the  land. 

I  will  love  thy  victorious  throne,   which  teemed  with 

*  The  death  and  decollation  of  Hengist  at  Caer  Conan,  upon  the  bank  of 
«he  JJone— Gibson's  Camden,  Col.  847. . 

t  Dym/nimil  Vrych — Hengist,  as  abore. 


strains  of  harmony,  thou  president  of  the  structure  of  the 
splendid  one,  with  the  luminous  speech.  I  could  wish  to 
have  fallen  the  first  in  Cattraeth,  as  the  price  of  the  mead 
andvwine  in  the  court — I  could  wish  it  for  him  who  never 
disgraced  the  sword,  rather  than  that  he  should  be  slain 
with  the  pale  potion.* — I  could  wish  it  for  the  son  of  fame, 
who  sustained  the  bloody  fight,  and  made  his  ^word  descend 
upon  the  violent.  Can  a  tale  of  valour  be  recorded  before 
Gododin,  in  which  the  son  of  Qeidiawf  has  not  his  fame, 
a,s  a  warlike  hero  ! 


"   TRTJAN  YW  GENNYF." — p.  12, 

The  Bard  takes  a  general  Retrospect  of  the  Affairs  of  Britain, 
from  the  Time  of  Vortimer,  to  the  Beginning  of  the  Sixth 

With  sorrow  I  reflect,  that  after  oui:  toils,  we  suffer  the 
pang  of  death  through  indiscretion.  And  again,  with  pain 
and  sorrow  I  observe,' that  our  men  are  falling,  from  the  high- 
est to  the  lowest,  breathing-  the  lengthened  sigh,  and  loaded 
with  obloquy.  (We  are  going)  after  those  men  who  extended 
the  fame  of  our  land — Rhuvawn  and  Gzegawn,  Gwyn  and 
Gwylged,  men  most  valiant,  most  magnanimous  and  firm 

*  Ambrosius  was  poisoned  by  Eppa,  a  Saxon,  acting  in  Ae,  character  of  a 
physician. — Warrington,  p.  66. 

+  The  Preserver — the  mystical  parent  of  our  hero,  as  an  adept  in  the  mys- 
teries of  Bardism. 


in  the  hour  of  trial.  May  their  souls  obtain^ — now  thdr 
toils  have  ceased — a  reception  in  the  heavenly^ region — a  se- 
cure dwelling ! 

He  who,  through  a  lake  of  gore,  repelled  the  slavish 
chain* — ^he  who,  like  a  hero,  cut  down  those  foes,  who 
would  not  retreat  to  the  clear  expanse;  even  he,  together 
with  the  spear,  brought  forth  the  crystal  cup— ^with  mead, 
placed  before  the  princes,  he  encouraged  the  army.  The 
greatness  of  his  counsels  a  multitude  cannot  express.  The 
coward  was  not  suffered  to  hesitate.  Before  the  velocity  of 
his  great  designs,  together  with  the  sharpened  blades,  he 
took  care  to  provide  flags  of  message,  the  means  of  support- 
ing his  army,  a  supply  of  penetrating  weapons,  and  a  strong 
yan-guard,  with  a  menacing  front. 

In  the  day  of  strenuous  exertion,  in  the  gallant  conflict, 
these  displayed  their  valour ;  but  after  the  intoxication,  in 
the  banquet  of  mead,  there  has  been  no  complete  deli- 

Our  president  at  the  festival;):  was  prosperous  for  a 
season :  for  it  will  be  recorded,  that  their  impulse  was  bro- 
ken, by  men  and  steeds.  But  fixed  was  the  decree  of  fate, 
when  they  arrived — that  vexatious  multitude — with  sorrow, 
I  recount  their  bands — eleven  complete  battalions. — Now 
there  is  precipitate  flight,  and  lamentation  upon  the  road. 

•  Vottimer,  who,  -after  a  series  of  bloody  battles,  drove  the  Saxons  out  of 

+  The  Saxons  never  evacuated  ths  islond,  after  the  massacre  of  the  British 

X  Eidiel  or  Ambrosius. 


Dolefully  do  I  deplore,  what  I  gireatly  loved— the  Celtic 
glory!  And  the  men  of  Argoed,*  how  wofully  did  they 
associate,  to  their  own  overwhelming,  with  the  wretch, 
who  utterly  ruined  the  prosperity  of  the  country,  for  the 
benefit  of  his  chiefs,  when  upon  timbers  of  rude  workmanship, 
at  the  deluge  of  affliction,  they  caroused  together  at  the 
feast.f  He  it  was  who  had  rohhed  us  upon  the  fair  Thanet,$ 
and  with  the  white  and /resA  hide.% 

Thou,  O  Geraint,l|  didst  raise  a  shout  before  the  South : 
on  the  shield  didst  thou  strike  a  signal,  to  repair  to  the 
white  water. 

Thou  chief  of  the  spear,  thou,  O  gentle  chief,  didst  ren- 
der our  youth  attached  to  the  glory  of  the  sea — even  thou 
didst  render  them,  O  Geraint,  a  generous  commander  wast 
thou ! 

Instantaneously  his  fame  reaches  the  harbours.  At  once, 
the  anchors  are  weighed.  Like  liberated  eagles  were,  his 
alert  warriors — men,  who  with  brilliant  zeal  would  support 
the  battle,  and  scud  with  a  velocity,  outstripping  the  fleetest 

•  The  Northern  Britons,  who  made  a  league  with  Hengiat. 

t  The  feast,  in  which  Hengist  slew  the  nobles. 

J  Danad  loyw — Vortigern,.  upon  Hengist's  first  arrival,  allotted  the  Isle  of 
Thanet  for   the  place  of  his  residence. — Warrington,  iiiith  his  authorities,  p.  44. 

§  Hengist  desired  of  Vortigern,  agrant  of  as  much  British  ground  as  he  cquld 
compass  about,  with  a  bull's  hid^.  Having  obtained  this  moderate  request,  be  cut 
a  large  bull's  hide  into  small  thongs,  with  which  he  compassed  a  considerable 
tract,  where  he  founded  a  castle,  called  from  that  circumstance.  Thong  Castle.-^ 
Camden.  (Col.  S69)  places  it  in  Lincolnshire ;  but  Verstegan,  p.  133,  says  it 
stood  near  Sydingborti  in  Kent. 

II  Geraint,  son  of  Erbin,  a  prince  of  the  Brilons  of  Devon,  and  the  com- 
mander of  a  British  fleet,  in  the  close  of  the  fifth,  and  beginning  of  the  sixth 



coursers.  If  the  battle  paused,  the  wine  flowed  froni  the 
capacious  vessel.  Before  he  reached  the  grassy  tomb,  or 
his  locks  became  hoary  with  age,  he  was  a  hero,  who  ho- 
aoured  the  mead  banquet  with  the  generous  bowl. 


"  DIHENYDD  I  BOB  LLAWE  LLANWET."— p.   13  &  14.. 

An  Elegy  upon  the  Death  of  Vortigern — the  Original  is  ob~ 
scure,  and  badly  preserved. 

He  who  brought  the  influx  of  ruin  upon  every  region^ — 
like  a  man  indifFeient  to  all  events — strikes  the  signal  upon 
his  shield.  At  length,  the  strenuous  man  obtained  a  retreat 
in  Rhyvoniawg,*  like  the  nest  of  those  who  are  buried, 
and  set  apart  from  society.  With  his  warlike  steeds  and 
gory  arms,  he  deems  it  fortunate  to  remain  unmolested. 

But  he  who  had  afflicted  great  and  courageous  men,  and 
with  his  sword,  had  severely  slaughtered  in  the  fight,  re-t 
ceives  a  woful  warning  of  conflict,  from  him  who  had  pre* 
pared  a  hundred  songs  for  the  festival.'j- 

By  the  two  sons  of  Urvei  was  he  assaulted ;  he  was  as- 

*  In  North  Wales,  whither  Vortigern  withdrew,  after  the  massacre,  covered 
viith  coafusion  and  reproach, — ^Warrington,  p.  60. 

t  Geoffry  of  Monmouth  says  he  had  this  waridng  delivered  by  the  Bard, 
Mtrddin  Emrys, 


faulted  by  those  two  exulting  boars,  who  were  of  the  same 
parentage  as  a  sovereign  prince,  and  a  holy  maid.  And 
though  the  lord  of  Gwyhedd  was  a  dignified  sovereign,  and 
the  blood  (relation)  of  Cilydd,  our  deliverer;*  yet  before 
the  turf  was  laid  upon  the  face  of  the  magnanimous,  but 
falling  prince,  he  was  wisely  assailed  with  battle,  and  di- 
tested  of  fame  and  p;rivilege. 

The  grave  of  the  lofty  Gorthyn  is  seen  from  the  highlands 
of  Rhyvoniawg.f 


"    PEIS    DINOGAT." 

A  sarcastic  Elegy  Upon  the  Death  of  Hengist,  addressed  to 
his  son  Octa,  when  he  was  taken  at  York,  whither  he  had 
fled  from  the  Battle  of  Caer  Conan,  in  the  Year  461. 'j^ 

The    garment  of   Tinogad  §    is   variegated  with    grey 
stripes-^a  fabric  of  the  skins  of  wild  beasts— I  will  ridicule 

*  Perhaps  Ambrosias,  who  was  4  relation  of  Vortigern. 

+  The  wilds  of  Cariarvonshirt. 

}  Compare  Gibson's  Camden  Col,  847,  -with  Warriliigton,  p.  64. 

5  "  Br— ch  oat  of  battle," — an   epithet  of  reproach,    addressed  to  0«ta, 
who  had  deserted  his  father  in  extremity,  and  fied  into  YorK 


that  lampooner,  the  captive  Octa,*  with  his  juggling  ©Ai'e 

When  thy  father  went  out  hunting,  with  his  lance  upon 
his  shoulder,  and  his  provisions  in  his  hand,  he  would  call 
his  dogs  so  majestically — "  Gif,  gaf ;  thaly,  thaly ;  thuc, 
"  thuc."  J  Then  would  he  kill  a  fish  in  a  hrook,  as  a  lion 
kills  a  calf. 

When  thy  father  ascended  the  mountain,  he  brought 
back  the  head  of  a  roebuck,  of  a  tuild  boar,  of  a  stag,  of  a 
grey  moor  hen  from  the  hill,  or  of  a  fish  from  the  falls  of 
the  Derwent.^ 

As  many  as  thy  father  could  reach  with  his  flesh-piercer, 
of  wild  boars,  that  had  been  just  dropped  and  licked — it 
was  certain  death  to  them  all,  unless  they  proved  too 

Were  he  to  come  upon  me,  and  unawares,  no  foe  that  I 
have  met,  or  that  I  shall  encounter,  would  be  more  formi- 
dable. The  man  has  not  been  nursed,  who  could  be  more 
penetrating  in  the  hall,  ||  or  more  wary  in  battle. 

On  the  ford  of  Penclwyd  Pennant  were  his  steeds :  at  a 

*  The  author  calls  liim  Wyth,  which  means  Octo;  and  in  this  huilesque  pas- 
sage, it  also,  implies  Octa, 

t  A  mimicry  of  some  Saxon  words :  the  meaning  is,  possibly,  white  wand, 

t  More  of  Aneurin's  Saxon,  which  I  shall  not  attempt  to  translate. 

§  A  curious  anti-climax. 

^  Alluding  to  his  massacre  at  the  feast. 


distance  would  he  seek  his  fame,  closely  girt  in  his  armour ; 
but  before  the  long-haired  chief  was  covered  with  the 
sod,  he,  the  son  of  the  sea-horse,  poured  out  the  horns  of 

I  saw  the  scene  from  the  high  land  of  the  Done,f  when 
they  were  carrying  the  sacrifice  round  the  omen  fire — I  saw 
two,J  who  fell  away  from  their  station — even  two  of  the 
disorderly  men,  who  were  greatly  thwarted — I  saw  warriors, 
who  had  made  the  great  breach,  approaching  with  a  shout, 
and  with  the  head  of  the  freckled  intruder — may  the  ravens 
devour  it ! 

The  reminder  of  the  printed  copy  consists  only  of  various 
Readings,  of  certain  passages,  which  had  been  collected  by 
some  ancient  transcriber. 

*  Another  sarcasm  upon  bis  outrage  at  the  feast. 

't  The  death  of  Hengist,  as  related  above. 

J  A  sarcasm  upon  Octa  and  Esca,  who  retired  from  the   field,  and   shut 
themselves  up  in  the  city  of  York,  where  they  were  forced  to  surrender. 


I  have  now,  with  considerable  labour,  and,  to  the  best  of 
my  abilities,  with  accuracy  and  fidelity,  translated  and 
explained  the  Gododin  of  Aneurin,  that  the  reader,  having 
the  whole  work  under  his  eye,  may  draw  his  own  conclu- 
sion from  it :  and  this,  if  I  mistake  not,  must  amount  to  a 
conviction,  that  the  great  catastrophe  which  the  Bard  de- 
plores, was  no  other  than  that  historical  event,  the  mas- 
sacre of  the  British  nobles  by  the  Saxon  king,  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Stonehenge ;  and  consequently,  that  the 
magnificent  temple,  or  sanctuary,  so  often  introduced,  was 
that  identical  structure, 

Trom  hence  it  must  follow,  that  this  pile  could  not  have 
been  erected,  as  fable  has  sometimes  reported,  in  comme- 
moration of  the  massacre;  but  that,  on  the  contrary,  it 
was  a  monument  of  venerable  antiquity  in  the  days  of  Hen- 
gist  ;  and  fhat  its  peculiar  sanctity  influenced  the  selection 
of  that  spot  for  the  place  of  conference  between  the  British 
and  Saxon  princes.  It  is  equally  clear,  that  the  sacred 
building  did  not  receive  its  name,  Gwaith  Emrt/s,  from 
Hmrys,  or  Ambrosius,  a  prince  who  fought  with  Hengjst :  * 

*  Yet-  I  think  it  probable,  that  the  resJ  founder  of  this  temple  may  have 
had  the  name  of  JLmrys,  which  was  a  title  of  the  Helio-arkite  god,  and  hence 
conferred  upon  his  priest,  under  whose  direction  the  building  was  completed. 

Aneiirin  seems  to  ascrilie  its  construction  to  Morien,  Janui  Marinus,  which  was 
also  a  name  of  the  same  god,  and  of  his  priest.     , 

The  mythological  Triads  describe  Morien  the  FuU-hearded  as  a  foreigner, 
who  was  vested  with  the  sovereignty  of  Britain. — W.  Archaiol,  V.  II.  p.  6i. 

It  is  the  general  tradition  of  tlie  Britons,  that  the  Helio-arhito  superstition 
was  of  foreign  growtli,  and  that  it  came  to  them  by  the  waj'  of  Cornwall,  and 
therefore  probably  from  the  tin  merchants.  See  the  5th  section.  And  it  may 
be  reasonably  inferred,  that  the  building  of  tliose  temples,  which  are  con- 
structed upon  astronomical  principles,  was  not  prior  to  the  introduction  of  that 
superstition,  whatever  may  have  been  its  date."^ 


but  diat,  on  the  other  hand,  it  communicated  to  him  ita 
own  name,  as  he  was  the  presideiilt  and  defender  of  the 
Ambrosial  stones* 

That  this  ancient  structure  was  Sacred  to  the  Druidicat 
superstition,  is  fully  evident,  from  the  language  in  which 
it  was  described,  and  the  great  veneration  in  which  it  was 
held  by  the  primitive  Bards,  those  immediate  descendants, 
and  avowed  disciples  of  the  British  DrUids. 

As  the  "  Grea:t  sanctuary  of  the  doininion,"  or  metropo- 
litan temple  of  our  heathen  ancestors,  so  complex  in  its 
plan,  and  constructed  upon  such  a  multitude  of  astronomi- 
cal calculations,  we  find  it  was  not  exclusively  dedicated  to 
X\ie  sufi,  the  moon,  Saturn,  ot  any  other  individual  object 
of  superstition  i,  but  it  was  a:  kind  of  pantheon^  iri  which  all 
"  the  Arkite  and  Sabiari  divinities^  of  British  theology,  were 
supposed  to  have  been  present '  for  here  we  perceive  Nbe 
and  Hu,  the  deified  patriarch;  Elphin  and  Rheiddin,  the 
sun;  Eset/e,  Isis;  Ked,  Ceres,  with  the  cell  of  her  sacred 
fire;  lilyxey,  Proserpine;  Gwydien,  Hermes;  Budd,  vic- 
tory, and  several  Others^ 

We  learn  from  the  Gododin,-  that  the' conference  with 
Hengist,  and  the  fatal  banquet,  took  place  upon  the  Ystre, 
or  Cursus,  which  is  still  disc6rnible,  at  the  distance  of  half 
a  mile  North  from  the  temple.  Here,  we  are  told,  some 
temporary  buildings  of  rudely  hewn  timber  were  ejected, 
for  the  accommodation  of  the  assembly. 

It  is  easy  to  dccoTirtt  for  the  choice  of  this  spot,  in  an 
age  of  that  gross  superstition,  which  overspread  our  coun- 
try in  the  fifth  century.    The  Qeltae  oi  Gaul  and  Britain, 

c  c 



during  their  pagan  state,  were,  for  the  most  part,  governed' 
by  their  priests,  whose  custom  it  was  to  assemble,  at  a 
certain  season,  to  deliberate  upon  the  greatest  civil  ques-. 
tions,  in  loco  consecrato,  or  within  the  verge  of  their  sanc- 
tuaries. And:  as  this  particular  sanctuary  of  Stonehenge 
had  been  esteemed  pre-eminently  sacred  before  the  coming 
of  the  Romans,  arid  whilst  the  Britons  were  an  independent 
nation,  so,  at  the  departure  of  those  foreigners,  it  had  re- 
coverered  its  ancient  reputation  amongst  a  people,  who 
were  still  pertinaciously  attached  to  their  national  usages 
and  superstitions.  And  Mai/yras  the  season  appointed  for 
the  meeting,  because  it  was  the  solemn  anniversary  of  the 
British  mysteries.  : . 

To  most  readers  it  must  appear  singular,  that  in  an  age 
when  Britain  was  nominally  christian,  the  Bards  should 
speak  with  veneration  of  a  heathen  temple,  in  which  hea- 
then ,  rites  were  still  celebrated :  the  fact,  however,  is  re- 
corded against  them  in  their  own  compositions.  It  may, 
indeed,  be  urged  as  an  excnse  for  our  present  author,  that 
he  describes  the  ancient,  rather  than  the  actual  solemnities 
of  the  place;  and  that  during  the.  great  Bardic  festival, 
some  ancient  rites  may  have  been  admitted,  which  were 
not,  at  that  time,  in  ^general  establishment :  but  I  do  not 
mean  to  be  his  apologist.  Whatever  Aneurin  might  have 
called  himself,  it  is  evident,  from  the  warmth  of  his  lan- 
guage, when  speaking  of  those  mystical  characters,  Hu, 
Ked,  Llywrj,  and  the  rest,  that  they  were  objects  of  vene- 
ration to  him ;  and  so,  I  am  persuaded,  they  were  to  the 
body  of  the  British  nation,  whose  profession  of  Christia- 
nity was  certainly  very  imperfect. 

The  Bards  were  generally  their  priests;  and  these,  as  it 


appears  from  their  own  works,  were  determined  bigots  to 
the  ancient  superstition.  Many  of  the  poptilace  of  this 
age  were  also  disciples  of  Pelagius,  whose  great  aim  it  was 
to  blertd  the  heterogeneous  tissue  of  Druidism  with  a  few 
shreds  of  Christianity.  Could  a  people,  who  had  profited 
so  little  by  the  light  of  the  gospel,  complain  of  the  act  of 
Providence^  in  depriving  them  of  their  dominion  and  their 
country  ? 

The  evidence  which  has  been  brought  forward  in  this 
section,  will,  perhaps,  prove  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  can- 
did antiquary,  that  the  larger  British  monuments,  consist- 
ing of  rude  stone  pillars,  disposed  into  circles,  whether  of 
twelve,  nineteen,  thirty,  or  more  stories,  were  temples,  sa- 
cred to  some  divinity,  or  to  all  the  divinities  of  the  hea- 
then Britons.  I  shall  now  proceed  to  make  a  few  obser- 
vations upon  some  other  monuments  of  the  same  super- 

In  the  account  of  the  temple  of  the  Gyvyldd,  we  are 
told,  that  "  Not  far  from  it  there  are  three  other  large 
"  stones,  pitched  on  end,  in  a  triangular  form."  Such  ap- 
pendages, either  within  or'near  to  the  sacred  circles,  often 
occur;  and  they  have  been  generally  regarded  as  consti- 
tuting the  cell  or  Adytum  of  their  respective  temples. 
Thus,  at  Abury,  in  the  Northermost  circle,  is  a  cell  or 
Kebla,  formed  of  three  stones,  placed  with  an  obtuse  angle 

c  c  a 


t6wards  each  dpening  to  the  North-east,  before  which  lay 
the  altar,  as  at  Stonehenge.* 

That  the  cell  of  Ceres,  or  "  The  stone  cell  of  the  he 
"  norary  fire"  did  exist  at  Stonehenge,  is  a  circum* 
tance  ascertained  by  Aneurin's  Gododin ;  and  it  is  highly 
probable,  that  the  same  was  recognised  in  other  temples, 
where  Ceres  presided^^  either  alone,  or  in  conjunction  with 
other  divinities :  yet  I  have  considerable  doubts,  whether 
the  monuments  of  this  kind,  which  I  have  seen,  or  of 
which  I  have  read  the  description,  did  constitute  the  cells 
in  question.  I  rather  suspect,  that  these  stones  were  either 
the  very  images  of  the  gods,  to  whom  the  temples  were 
dedicated,  or  that  they  were  esteemed  peculiarly  sacred  to 
them,  and  viewed  as  emblems  of  their  presence.  Thus  the 
three  large  stones  before  the  temple  of  the  GyvylcM,  may 
have  represented  the  three  great  objects  of  superstition, 
liu.  Kid,  or  Ceridwen,  and  Llywy  or  Creirwy,  or  Bacchvs, 
Ceres,  and  Proserpine,  whose  history  and  rites  were  closely 
connected  in  British  mythology. 

No  images  pertaining  to  our  pagan  progenitors,  carved 
either  into  the  human  shape,  or  that  of  any  animal,  have 
been  discovered  and  ascertained,  unless  the  figures  pour- 
tiayed  upon  the  British  coins  should  be  thought  to  deserve 
the  name  of  images:  hence  it  is  probable,  that  such  things 
were,  at  least,  very  rare  amongst  them. 

As  the  Britons  had  preserved  the  usage  of  the  earliest 
age^,  in  the  form  and  rude  materials  of  their  open  temples, 
why  may  they  not  have  observed  the  same  rule  with  regard 

•  Maurice^  Ind.  Antiq.  Vol.  VT   p.  138. 


to  images  ?  And  we  have  good  authority  to  assert,  that — 
"  In  ancient  times,  they  had  no  images  in  their  temples ; 
"  but  in  lieu  of  them,  they  used  conical  stones,  called 
''  BajTuAia,  Under  which  representation  their  deity  was  often 
"  worshipped."* 

Mr.  Bryant  also  remarks,  that  Ab-adir  was  a  rvUi;,  or 
stone  pillar,  representing  Ops,  the  wife  of  Saturn.  One  of 
these  stones,  according  to  Pausanias,  stood  at  Delphi :  it 
was  deemed  very  sacred,  and  used  to  have  libations  of  wine 
poured  upon  it  daily ;  and  upon  festivals,  it  was  otherwise 

Again  we  are  told,  that  "  Near  the  temple  of  Eleusinian 
"  Damater,  in  Arcadia,  were  two  vast  stones,,  called  Pe- 
"  troma,  one  of  which  was  erect,  and  the  other  was  laid 
"  over,  and  inserted  into  the  former.  There  was  a  hollow 
"  place  in  the  upper  stone,  with  a  lid  to  it.  In  this,  among 
"  other  things,  was  kept  a  kind  of  mask,  which  was  thought 
"  to  represent  the  countenance  of  Damater,  to  whom  these 
"  stones  were  sacred. "J 

These  passages  are  adduced,  in  order  to  shew,  that  nei 
tlier  the  form  nor  the  situation  of  those  rude  isolated  stones, 
which  are  attached  to  our  British  temples,  is  irreconcileable 
with  the  primitive  memorials  of  those  very  divinities,  which 
our  ancestors  venerated. 

•  Bryant's  Analysis,  V.  I.  p.  49. 

t  Ibid.  p.  476. 

:^  Ibid.  V.  II.  p.  203. 


Leaving  this  hint  to  the  consideration  of  the  antiquary,  I  go 
on  to  inquire  for  another  kind  of  apparatus,  which  was  deem- 
ed  (essential  to  the  due  celebratjon  of  the  heathen  mysteries. 

In  the  tale  of  Taliesin's  initiation,  of  which  I  have 
treated  at  large  in  the  preceding  section,  and  in  some  of 
that  Bard's  poems  upon  the  S3,me  subject,  we  are  told  that 
Cerjdwen,  transforming  herself  into  a  bird,  swallowed  the 
noviciate,  who  had  taken  the  form  of  a  grain  of  pure 
wheat ;.  that  she  c6ntin>ied  for  some  time  pregnant  of  him, 
and  that,  at  the  expiration  of  that  period,  he  was  bom 

This  is  a  dark  allegory;  but  we  shall  find  others  upon  the 
same  epic,  of  easier  solution. 

In  another  passage  which  I  have  quoted,  the  Bard  re* 
presents  himself  as  a  grain  of  the  Atkites,  which  had  vege- 
tated upon  the  mount,  and  produced  an  ear  of  cortr;  in 
this  state,  the  reaper  placed  in  a  close,  smoky  recess,  in  order 
to  ripen. 

In  a  third  passage,  the  Bard  plainly  tells  us,  that  he  had 
endured  a  close  confinement  in  the  hall  of  Celidwen,  where 
he  was  subjected  to  jje«a«ce,  fLXid  modelled  into  the  form  of 
a  perfect  man.  This  is  also  the  representation  which  H}'\\'el, 
the  son  of  Owen,  gives  of  the  affair. 

l^ow  it  may  be  fairly  presumed,  that  this  confinement  in 
the  zvomb  of  Oeridwen,  in  the  hall  of  that  goddess,  and  in 
the  smoky  recess,  implies  one  and  the  same  thing :  and  those 
representations  clearly  allude  to  the  inclosure  of  the  novi- 
ciate, either  for  mortification,  and  trial  of  his  fortitude,  or 
for  fippropriate  instruction  in  some  private  cell,  which  was 


sacred  to  Ceres,  which  bore  her  name,  and  was,  therefore, 
deemed  to  constitute  her  mystical  person,  of  whom  the 
aspirant  was  to  be  born  again. 

Something  of  this  kijnd,  I  presume,  was  also  implied  by 
the  n«r<i5,  or  bed,  in  which  it  was  requisite  that  the  Greek 
aspirant  should  be  covered,  before  he  could  be  admitted  to 
the  greater  mysteries. 

I  have  some  reason  to  think,  that  the  British  cells  ap- 
propriated to  this  use,  are  to  be  recognized  amongst  those 
monuments,  which  are  known  by  the  general  name  of 
Cromlech.  These  consist  of  a  certain  number  of  stones, 
pitched  in  the  ground,  so  as  to  form  a  cell,  which  is  covered 
ovej;^with  a  flat  stone  of  enormous  dimensions.  We  have 
seen,  that  there  are  several  of  these  Cromlechs  near  the 
circle  of  the  Gyvylchi,  in  Snowdon ;  and  they  are  generally 
found  either  in  the  neighbourhood,  or  in,  the  very  centre  of 
similar  monuments. 

The  date  of  these  erections  being  very  remote,  and  their 
use  entirely  forgotten,  it  is  not  improbable,  that  being 
misled  by  certain  resemblances,  which  present  themselves- 
to  superficial  observation,  we  confound  two  or  three  kinds 
of  monuments  which  are  really  distinct,  and  which  were 
erected:  for  diiferent  purposes  ;  and  that  in  consequence  of 
this  mistake,  when  we  have  discovered  the  use  of  one 
Cromlech,  we  make  erroneous  conclusions  respecting  others. 

I  shall  mention  two  or  three  opinions^  which  have  been 
thus  generally  applied. 

In  the  Cromlech,  some  antiquaiies  see  nothing  but  the 
hloodif  altars  of  the  Druids,  smoking  with  human  victim*. 

To  this  opinion,  it  lias  been  replied,  that  many  of  them 
seem,  by  their  gibbous  form,  and  slanting  position,  to  be 
very  ill-contrived  for  the  purpose  of  altars,  and  that,  they 
bear  no  marks  of  the  action  of  fire,  upon  the  upper  side. 

Others  pronounce  them  altogether  sepulchral,  and  sup- 
port their  opinion,  with  the  evidence  of  bones  and  urns, 
which  have  been  found  under  some  few  of  them ;  but  it  may 
be  objected,  that  several  Cromlechs  virhich  have  been  ex-: 
aoiined,  shew  no  vestige  of  sepulture,  and  others  seem  tq 
have  been  badly  calculated  for  the  purpose,  as  standing 
upon  unbroken  rocI?s. 

If  it  be  urged,  that  because  some  of  them  are  found  to  be 
sepulchres,  they  must  all  be  regarded  as  of  the  sepulchral 
form;  this  argument  will  only  add  support  to  my  hypothesis. 
Initiation  represented  death,  and  a  renovation  from  the  dead. 
In  the  British  iny$teries,  thj3  noviciate  passed  the  river  of 
death,  in  the  boat  of  Garan  Mr,  the  Chfiron  of  antiquity : 
and  before  he  could  be  admitted  to  this  privilege,  it  was  re- 
quisite that  h.e  sliould  have  been  piysticalhf.  buried,  as  well  as 
mystically  dead.  And  thus  much  seems  to  be  implied  in  the 
ancient  Greek  formularyr-Y«ro  To»«raro»V'°!^'"?'' — "  I  covered 
myself,  or  was  CQvered  in  thp  b^d" 

Cromlech,  according  to  Mr.  Qwpn,  whqse  opinion,  upon 
this  su]3Ject,  deserves  attention,  is  nothing  more  than  the 
vulgar  name  for  the  Crair  Gorsedd,  Maen  Llog,  or  Maen 
Gorsedd;  the  stone  of  covenant,  or  altar  of  the  Bards';  which 
was  placed  within  the  Cylch  Cyngrair,  or  circlf  of  federation : 
and  on  which  were  performed  various  ceremonies  belonging 
^o  Bardism.* 

•  Spe  W.  Eng.  Diet,  V.  Cromlech. 


Crair  Gorsedd,  literally  implies  the  token  or  pledge  of  the 
supreme  seat;  and  Maen  Llog,  the  stone  of  the  ark  or  chest. 
It  is  therefore,  the  same  as  Aneurin's  Llogell  Byd^  ark  of 
the  world,  in  which  the  priest  of  Hu  had  been  inclosed. 
The  application  of  these  terms  to  the  Cromlech,  goes  a  great 
way  towards  establishing  my  opinion :  for  as  a  due  initia-' 
tion  into  the  sacred  mysteries,  was  the  last  requisite  towards 
completiilg  the  co»ena«?  or  ye«?era<iow  of  the  Bards ;  so  this 
stone  of  the  ark  was  employed  in  the  celebration  of  those 

That  some  of  the  inonuments,  called  Cromlechs,  were 
actually  resorted  to  in  celebrating  the  rites  of  Ceres,  and 
that  the'stone  arks,  or  chests  which  they  covered,  constituted 
the  womb  or  hall  of  the  goddess,  in  which  the  aspirants 
were  inclosed,  will  appear  from  the  following  observations, 

Ceridwen,  or  Ceres,  was  the  genius  of  the  ark;  and  that 
ark  had  its  representative  in  the  temple,  or  sanctuary  of  the 
goddess.  Hence  the  mythological  triads  record  the  feat  of 
Gwgawn  Lawgadarn,  the  severe  one,  with  the  mighty  hand, 
who  rolled  the  stone  of  Mam-Arch,  the  stone  ark,  from 
the  valley  to  the  top  of  the  hill,  though  it  was  so  large, 
that  not  less  than  sixty  oxen  could  have  moved  it. 

This  Gwgawn  was  a  mere  personification  of  the  Druidical 
Hierarchy,  or  of  the  ministers  which  «hey  employed :  and  the 
stone,  of  the  stone  ark,  is  not  to  be  understood  as  implying 
one  individual  slab,  but  as  a  general  appurtinent  to  a  kind 
of  monument  known  by  that  najne ;  and  as  a  memorial  of 
its  prototype,  the  ark  of  Noah. 

If  we  look  upon  Ihe  tops  pf  our  hills  for  monumental 


stones,  which  answer  this  description,  we  shall  find  them 
0nly  in  the  enormous  Cromlech,'  the  covering  stone  of  the 
Kist-vaen,- stone  chest,  or  ark — a  name  precisely  synony- 
mous with  Maen-Ar'ch. 

That  all  these  monuments  could  n.ot  have  been  mere 
altars,  or  mere  sepulclvres,  is  evident  from  their  yeryiform. 
For  instance,  the. monument  in  Gower,  called  Arthur's 
ttone^  is.  thus  de§erihed. 

"  They  (the  stones)  are  to  be  seen  upon  a  jutting,  at 
"  the  North-west  of  Kevn  Bryw,  the  most  noted  hiU  in 
"  Gower »-*-Their  fashion  and  positure  is  this.  There; is 
"  a  vast  unwrought  stone,  probably  about  twenty,  tuns 
"  weight,  supported  by  six  or  seven  others  that  are 
".not  above  four  feet  high;  and  these  are  set -iu,  a. circle, 
"  some  on  end,  and  some  edgewise,  or  sidelong,  to  bear 
"  the  great  one  up.  The  great  one  is  much. diminished  of 
"  what  it  has  been  in  bulk,  as  having  five , tuns,  or  more, 
"  by  report,  broke  off  it,  to  make  mill-stones :  so  that  I 
f*  guess,  the  stone  originally  to  have  been,  between  twenty- 
"  five  and  thirty  tuns  in  weight.^The  common  people  call 
"  it  Arthur's  stone — under  it.  is  a  well,  which,  as  the  iieigh- 
"  hours  tell  me,  has  a  flux  and  reflux  with  the  sea,"* 

Here  we  find  the  Cromlech,  as  the  cover  of  a  mystic  cell 
or  stone  ark,  furnished  with  its  sacred  fountain.  The  as- 
cribing of  this,  and  similar  monuments,  to  Arthur,  is  not, 
as  our  author  supposes,  a  vulgar  .conceit,  respecting  the  hero 
of  thai  name,  who  lived  in  the  sixtli  century.  I  have  dis-. 
tinguished  an  Arthur,  celebrated  in  the  mythological  triads. 

*  Gibson's  Camden,  Col,  7-11. 


and  in  the  works  of  the  Bards;  as  the  representative  of  the 
patriarch,  who  was  inclosed  in  the  ark;  to  the  traditional 
history  of  which,  the  fountain  under  this  Maenarch,  or 
stone-aik,  seems  to  have  had  an' allusion:  for  we  are  told 
that  the  inclosure  of  Sidi,  or  seat  of  Ceres,  contained  a 
well  of  water  which  was  sweeter  than  wine.  I  have  seen:  the 
remains  of  a  similar  cell,  in  Llanvareth,  in  Radnorshire, 
inclosing  a  fair  spring;  called  ■F^nawn  -Ernion,  or  the  well 
of  the  just  one :  and  I  learn  from  Mr.  Maurice,  that  foun- 
tains often  occurred  in  the  sacred  cells  of  antiquity,  which 
were  appropriated  to  the  celebration  of  mysteries. 

Let  us  hear  the  description  of  another  Cromlech,  which 
appears  as  an  appendage  to  an  ancient  temple. 

"  There  are  in  this  county  (Pembrokeshire)  several  such 
"  circular  stone  monuments  as  that  described  in  Carmar- 
"  thenshire,  ■  by  the  name  of  Meineu  Gwyr;  and  K&vn 
•"  Llechart,  in  Ctlamorganshire.  But  the  most  remarkable 
"  is  that  which  is  called  Y  Gromlech — ^in  Nevern*  parish, 
■"  where  are  several  rude  stones  pitched  on  end,  in  a  circu- 
"  lar  order ;  and  in  the  midst  of  the  circle,  a  vast  rude  stone, 
"  placed  on  several  pillars.  The  diameter  of  the  ara  is 
*'  about  fifty  feet.  The  stone,  supported  in  the  midst  of 
"  this  circle,  is  eighteen  feet  long,  and  nine  in  breadth; 
"  and  at  the  one  end,  it  is  about  three  feet  thick,  but 
"  thinner  at  the  other-  There  lies  also  by  it,  a  piece  bro- 
"  ken  off,  about  ten  feet  in  length,  and  five  in  breadth, 
"  which  seems  more  than  twenty  oxen  could  draw.  It  is 
"  supported  by  three  large  rude  pillars,  about  eight  feet 
"  high;  but  there  are  also  five  others,  which  are  of  no 

Kev-ern,  pledge  of  heaven. 

"  use  at  present,  as  not  being  high  enough,  or  duly  placed, 
"  to  bear  arty  weight  of  the  top  stone.  Under  this  stone 
"  the  ground  is  neatly  flagged,  considering  the  rudeness  of 
"  monuments  of  this  kind."* 

This  Cromlech,  covering  a  rude,  but  magnificent  cell, 
with  a  paved  floor,  and  placed  in  the  midst  of  the  sacred 
circle,  has  not  the  appearance  of  a  sepulchral  monument. 

Many  of  these  monuments,  it  has  been  observed,  bear  the 
name  of  Arthur,  being  styled  his  tables,  his  quoits,  and  the 


But  in  the  tale  of  Taliesin's  initiation,  the  table  of  Arthur 

is  connected  with  the  mysteries  of  Ceridwen,  and  in  Uan 
Beudyf  parish,  in  Carmarthenshire,  we  find  a  monimient 
which  joins  the  name  of  Arthur  with  another  name,  which 
we  can  only  refer  to  that  goddess.  It  is  called  Bwrdd 
Arthur,  Arthur's  table,  and  Gwal  y  VUast,  the  couch,  or 
n*rij«j  of  the  Greyhound  bitch. 

This  is  a  rude  stone,  about  ten  yards  in  circumference, 
and  above  three  feet  thick,  supported  by,  four  pillars,  which 
are  about  two  feet  and  a  half  high.  J 

Not  to  insist  upon  the  dogs,  which  were  always  exhibited 
in  the  mysteries  of  Isis  and  Ceres,  and  the  title  of  dogs, 
with  which  their  priests  were  distinguished,  it  must  be  re^r 
marked,  that  in  the  mythological  tale  which  I  have  just 

•  Gibson's  Camden,  Col.  759,— See  also  7ffl,  740,  &c. 

+  Ox-house. 

i  Gibsou's  Caindcn,  Cpl.  7a3. 


mentioned,  "wre  are  told,  that  Ceridwen  transformed  herself 
into  a  greyhound  bitch,  and  in  that  form,  chased  the  aspirant 
towards  the  river. 

In  this  monument,  therefore,  we  have  a  commemoration 
of  the  Diluvian  patrigjcch,  under  the  mythological  name  of 
Arthur;  and  of  the  gemas  of  the  ark,  under  her  assumed 
character  of  a  greyhound  bitch. 

And  lest  it  should  be  thought,  that  tlie  latter  circumstance 
is  purely  accidental,  it  must  be  ohseryed,  that  more  than 
one  spot  preserves  the  memory  of  the  mystical  bitch. 

:♦  There  is  a  monument  of  the  same  kind,  and  distinguished 
by  the  same  name  of  Gwal  y  Vilast,  in  Glamorganshire, 
and  a  third,  called  Llech  yr  Ast,  the  flat  stone  of  the^  bitch, 
in  Cardiganshire.* 

And  it  jnay  be  suspected,  that  some  of  the  connections 
of  this  mystical  lady,  had  assumed  a  correspondent  form  ; 
as  we  find  Ffynawn  Maen  Milgi,  the  spring  of  the  grey- 
hound's stone,  a  remarkably  large  stream,  issuing  out  of  the 
side  of  Berwyn  mountain,  in  Meirionethshire  f 

Near  Llech  yrAst,  in  Cardiganshire,  there  are  five  Kist 
Vaens,  stone  chests,  or  cells,  and  a  circular  area,  inclosed  with 
rude  pillars,  &c. ;  so  that  it  appears  to  have  been  a  work 
of  the  very  same  kind,  as  the  temple  of  Ceres  and  Proser- 
pine, in  the  Gyvylchi. 

Ceridwen,  the  British  Ceres,  was  also  represented  under 
the  character  of  the  Giantess.  Taliesin,  giving  an  account  of 

■  ■  '■  ■  ■  ■« i .  I      " 

•  Gibson's  Cftmden,  Col;  772.  778. 
f  Camb.  Reguter,  V.  I.  p.  898. 


his  inistfation, ;  styliesr  her — Hen  Widdon  Ddulon,  the  old 
dark-smiling.  Giantess.  Under  this  figure  she  claims  another* 
monument  in  Cardiganshire,  called  Llecli  y  Gowres,  the  flat 
stone  of  the  Giantess. — "  Being  an  exceeding  Azast  stone, 
"  placed  on  four  other  very  large  pillars  oi-  supporters, 
"  about  the  height'  of  five  or  six  feet.  Besides  which  four,' 
'^  there  are  two  others  pitched  on  end,  under  the  top  stone, 
"  but  much  lower. — There  are  also  three  stones,  two  large 
"  ones,  and  behind  them  a  lesser,  lying  on  the  ground,  at 
"  each  end  of  this  monument. — This  Lleth  y  Gtizeres  stands 
"  on  such  a  small  bank,  or  rising,  in  a  plain  open  field,  a» 
"  the  fiv6  stones,  near  the  circular  mofitiment,  calleck 
"  Rolrich  stones,  in  Oxfordshire."* 

Near  this  Llech  y  Gowres  are  several  monuments,  which 
have  an  evident  relation  to  the  same  subject;  as  Meini 
Hirion,  retaining  the  name  and  the  form  of  Ceridwen's 
temple  in  the  Gy vylchi ;  Meini  Kyvrivol  the  stones  of  the 
equalized  computation,  being  nineteen  in  number,  the  cycle 
of  the  sun  and  moon,  or  Liber  and  Ceres;  Hir  vaen 
Gwyddbg,  the  high  stone  of  the  Mysfagogue ;  unless  it  be 
a* corruption: of  Gwydion,  Hermes,  or  Gteyddon,  the  Giantess: 
this  is  a  pillar,  about  sixteen  feet  high,  three  feet  broad, 
and  two  thick.  Not  far  from  it  is  a  Mam  y  Prenvol,  the 
^tone  of  the  wooden  ark,  or  chest ;  this  must  have  been  the 
memorial,  or  the  repository  of  an  ark  of.  wood: — and  Gwdy 
Taliesin,  the  bed  or,  n«ro!  of  Taliesin,  which  is  also  a  kind 
of  stone  chest. 

.'*X  take  this,  and  all  others  of  this  kind,  (continues  my 

•  Gibson's  Camdeii,  Col.  7T3, 




"  author),  tOr  be  old  heathen  monUiments,,  and  am  far  from 
"  believing,  that  Taliesin  was  interred  there."* 

And  if  we  allow  the  probaj^le  conjecture,  that  they  are. 
heathei;  monuments,  there  is  Ctvery  reason  to  pronounce 
them  Dmidi^al,  and  to  infer, ,  that  they  were  constructed 
for  that  purpose,  which  general  analogy,  their  peculiar  form, 
and  their  very  names  declare.  -  ■  ' 

Had  they  been  erected  since  the  times  of  the  Druids, 
their  names,  or  the  traditions  respecting  them,  would  surely 
have  preserved  some  memorial  of  the  occasion  of  their  con- 
struction. Instead  of  this,,  we  generally  find  some,  circum- 
iF  stance,,  either  in  their  names  or  situation,  which  connects 
them  with  the  Druidical  establishment. 

Thus,  the  great  Anglesea  Cromlech  is  surrounded  by 
Tre'r  Dryzp,  Druid's  town;  Tre'r  Beirdd,  Bard's  town ; 
B6d  Ozeyr,  the  dwelling  of  the  Ovates,  and  the  monument 
called  Cerig  y  Bryngieyn,  stones  of  the  hill  of  judicature. f 

So  again ;  there  is  a  parish  in  Denbeighshire,  called  Cerig 
y  Drudion,  Druid's  stones;  and  the  monuments  which  entitle 
it  to  this  name,  are  two  Kist  Vaens,  ox  stone  chests,  covered 
with  their  ponderous  slabs,  ox  Cromlechs ;  and  these  chests,, 
are  traditionally  reported  to  have  served  the  purpose  of 
prisons.  + 

I  must  here  repeat  my  hint,  that  the  Cromlech,   and 

•  Gibson's  Camden,  Col.  773. 
t  Ibid.  Col.  809. 
I  Ibid.  Col.  813. 


Kistiaen,  arc  constituent  pairts  of  fhe  same  monuiQeflty 
which  is  distinguish^  by  one  or  other  of  these  names,  as 
the  incumbent  stone,  or  the  inclosed  cell,  becomes  the 
most  considerable  object  of  remark.  And  though  I  do  not 
deny,  that  some  monuments  of  similar  form,  have  serverf 
the  purpose  of  sepulchres ;  yet,  I  am  persuaded,  that  they 
were  in  general,  tjie  Maenarchs,  or  stone  arks  of  the  Triads," 
and  those  in  which  the  British  Ceres,  and  Proserpine,  con 
fined  and  humbled  their  votaries. 

If  It  be  objected,  that  at  present,  we  seldom  find  these 
Cells  sufficiently  close  and  secure,  for  the  purpose  of  con^ 
finement;  it  must  be  recollected,  that  time  and  accident 
have  injured  them;  that  in  the  age  of  superstition,  it  is  pro-'* 
bable  they  were  surrounded  with  a  fence  of  wood,  or  some 
perishing  materials,  which  have  long  since  disappeared ; 
and  that  the  coilfinement  itself,  is  liot  supposed  to  have 
been  absolutely  involuntary.  It  was  a  trial  of  fortitude, 
rather  than  of  force. 

Even  the  traditions  which  report  the  larger  works  of  tliis 
kind  to  have  been  sepulchral,  will,  if  closely  examined,  favour 
that  idea  of  their  application,  which  I  have  suggested.  Thusy 
"  We  have  a  tradition,  that  the  largest  Cromlech  in  this 
"  county  (Anglesea)  is  the  monument  of  Bronwen,  daugh- 
"  ter  of  King  Lli/r,  or  Leirus,  who,  you  know,  is  said  to 
"  begin  his  reign,  Anno  Mundi  3105."* 

I  shall  not  Jtake  the  trouble  to  examine  the  lera  of  this 
Anno  Mundi  sovereign,  who,  as  such,  was  unknown  in 
Wales  before  the  days  of  Geoifry,  of  Monmouth,  though 

■  Gibion's  Camden,  Col.,  ?10. 


btar  modem  heralds  have  made  some  effoirts  to  verify  his 

The  tale  was,  originally,  mythological  5  and  the  daughter 
of  Ll^r,  the  Cordelia  of  Shakespdare,  was  Creirddylad, 
whom  Gwyn  ab  Nudd,  the  British  Pluto,  claims  as  his 
mistress.*  This  lady,  therefore,  was  our  Proserpine  :f  and 
the  tradition  respecting  the  great  Anglesea  Cromlech, 
amounts  to  nothing  more  than  this — that  it  constituted  a 
cell,  sacred  to  Proserpine. 

I  find  that  the  same  Brohwen,  the  daughter  of  Ll^r,  like 
Creirwy,  the  daughter  of  Ceridwen,  had  a  brother,  named 
Bran,  the  raven,  who  had  the  disposal  of  the  mystical 

This  history,  therefore,  brings  us  home  to  the  sanctuary, 
and  to  the  mystical  rites  of  Ceridwen  and  her  family.  The 
daughter  of  Llyr,  the  sea,  the  mistress  of  Pluto,  and  the 
sister  of  the  raven,  was  no  other  than  Creirm/f  the  daugh- 
ter of  the  British  Ceres,  to  whom  the  same  cauldron  was 
peculiarly  sacred. 

The  Cromlech  is  distinguished  in  the  Triads  by  another 
name,  synonymous  with  Maenarch,  and  referable  to  the 
history  of  Ceridwen,  considered  as  the  genius  of  the  ark. 
The  name  I  mean  is  Maen  Kettif 

D  o 

•  W  Archaiol.  p.  166. 

t  See  some  farther  account  of  her  in  the  next  lectioa. 
/  %  See  Mr.  Turner's  Vindicution,  p.  883. 


We  are  told,  that  the  three  mighty  lahours  of  the  island 
of  Britain  were,  lifting  the  stone  of  Ketti  ;  building  the 
work  of  Emrys;  and  piling  up  the  mount  of  the  as- 

The  work  of  Emrys  implies  the  sacred  circles,  such  as 
Stonehenge,  which  is  known  by  that  name;  the  Main 
Ambres,  in  Cornwall ;  Dinas  Emrys,  in  Snowdon ;  and 
other  Petrai  Ambrosiai ;  and  in  Silbury-hill,  we  may  con- 
template the  mount  of  the  assemblies:  but  what  third  liindi 
of  British  monument  is  there,  which  displays  the  effect  of 
great  labour  in  lifting  a  stone,  unless  it  be  the  enormous 
Cromlech  ? 

Ketti  is  a  derivative  of  Ket,  and  this  must  have  implied 
an  ark  or  chest;  for  we  still  retain  its  diminutive  form, 
Keteri,  to  denote  a  small  chest,  or  cabinet. 

I  have  had  frequent  occasion  to  remark,  that  Ceridwen, 
the  Arkite.  goddess,  is  distinguished  by  the  name  of  Red. 
Aneurin,  in  his  Gododin,  repeatedly  calls  her  by  this  name, 
and  speaks  of  Cibno  Kid  as  synonymous  with  Pair  Cerid- 
wen, the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen,  or  sacred  vase  of  Ceres. 
Now,  those  who  are  at  all  conversant  in  Cambro-British 
writing,  must  be  aware,  that  Md  and  Ket  are  precisely  the 
same  word,  it  being  usual  in  our  old  orthography,  to  write 
the  final  t,  where  at  present  we  use  the  d.  Thus  we  have 
hot,  bod;  cat,  cad;  tat,  tad;  and  a  hundred  moi-e;  for  the 
rule  is  general,  and  almost  without  exception. 

From  the  things  which  were  produced  out  of  the  ark,  or 
chest,  the  word  Ked  figuratively  implies  a  betiefit,  aid,  re- 

•  W.  Archaiol.  V.  11.  p.  TO. 


Itef',  wherefore  Maen  Ket-ti  signifies  th6  gtone  of 'the  arh'ite 
power,  or  the  stone  of  beneficence  i  and  it  could  have  been 
no  other  than  the  ponderous  covering  of  that  cell  which  re* 
presented  the  aik,  and  which  was  eminently  dedicated  to 
the  beneficent  Ceres.* 

I  have  how  shewn,  that  these  monuments  frequently  re-« 
tain  the  name  of  Arthur,  the  mythological  representative 
of  Noah,  and  the  husband  of  Gwenhwyvar,  the  lady  on  the 
summit  of  the  water ;  that  is,  the  ark,  or  its  substitute — that 
the  same  monuments  are  distinguished  by  several  titles, 
which  imply  an  ark,  or  chest — that  they  commemorate  the 
various  names  and  characters  of  Ceridwen,  the  genius  of 
the  ark,  whilst  one  of  them,  in  particular,  is  distinguished 
"by  the  name  of  her  votary,  Taliesin — that  they  commemo- 
rate the  superstition  of  the  Druids,  both  by  their  names 
and  their  local  situation-r-that  they  are  reported  to  have 
been  used  as  prisons — and  that  the  mysteries  of  Ceridweii 
and  her  daughter,  were  celebrated  in  the  circle  of  the  Gy- 
vylchi,  to  which  the  Cromlech  and  its  Kist  Vaen  are 

And  from  these  premises  I  infer,  that  such  monuments 
generally  had  a  relation  to  that  ceremony,  which  is  mysti- 
cally described  as  the  aspirant's  confinement  in  the  zoomb 
of  Ceridwen,  whence  he  was  born  again,  and  thus  became 
her  mystical  child.  For  this  confinement  of  the  aspirant, 
which  preceded  his  being  shut  up  in  the  coracle,  and 
cast  into  the  sea,  in  the  course  of  the  greater  mysteries, 
could  have  meant  nothing  more  than  his  inclosure  in  some 


*  I  find  this  goddess  described  by  several  derivatives  of  Ked  or  Ket,  as 
Kedi^  Kedwy,  Y  Qifipwl,  which  eijuaUjf  inifilj  the  4'''^ite  and  tb«  beneficent. 


cell,  which  was  sacred  to  that  goddess.    And  Taliesin  has , 
told  us,  that  the  Llan  or  cell  in  which  he  was  inclosed,  was 
Uch  llawVi  above  the  surface  of  the  ground. 

Of  the  ceremony  of  imprisoning  the  noviciates  in  such 
cells,  we  may  find  some  farther  hints  in  the  mythological 

Thus — "  The  three  pre-eminent  prisoners  of  the  island 
"  of  Britain,  were  Llyr  Llediaith,  in  the  prison  of  Jiuros- 
"  wydd  the  sovereign,  Madawc,  the  son  of  Medron,  and 
"  Gwair,  the  son  of  Geiriawn.  And  one  was  pre-eminent 
"  over  the  three,  namely,  'Arthur,  who  was  imprisoned 
"  three  nights  in  the  inclosure  of  Oeth  and  Anoeth,  and 
"  three  nights  with  the  lady  of  Pendragon,  and  three 
"  nights  in  the  prison  of  Kud,  under  the  flat  stone  of 
"  Echemeint :  and  one  youth  released  him  from  the  three 
"  prisons,  namely,  Goreu,  the  son  of  Cystenin,  his  ne- 
"  phew."* 

The  whole  of  this  account  was  apparently  extracted  from 
some  ancient  mythological  tale,  relating  to  the  deluge,  and 
to  certain  mysteries  which  were  celebrated  in  memorial  of 
it,  A  short  analysis  of  the  circumstances  will  evince  the 
probability  of  this  fact. 

The  first  of  the  noted  prisoners  was  Jjlyr  Llediaith,  that 
is,  half  language,  or  mysterious  representation  of  the  sea,-\^ 

Our  heralds  have  not  only  given  Caractacus,  the  cele- 
brated hero  of  the  first  century,   a  grandfather  of  this 

•  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  12.     Tri.  50. 

+  Or,  taking  the  words  in  the  order  in  which  they  stand — "Sea' of  mystery," ' 


name ;  but  have  also  furnished  this  grandfather  with  a  long 
series  of  progenitors :_  so  that  we  have  JJi/r  IJediaith,  nh 
Paror,  ab  Ceri  Mr  Uyngwyn,  ab  Ceidog,  ab  Arth,  ab  Mei' 
rion,  ab  Eranit,  ab  EidoL* 

But  as  these  heralds  could  have  had  no  authority  for  such 
early  pedigrees,  excepting  the  mystical  poems  of  the  Bards, 
and  some  old  tales,  which  were  purely  mythological ;  as  it 
has  been  very,  usual,  since  the  days  of  GeofFry  of  Mon- 
mouth, to  mistake  British  mythology  for  history ;  and  as 
the  interpretation  of  proper  names  generally  furnishes  the 
best  key  to  Bardic  (enigmas,  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  try  the 
•eries  now  before  us  by  this  rule. 

Here,  then,  we  are  presented  with  the  mysterious  repre- 
sentation of  the  sea,  the  son  of  him  who  remained,  tHe  son 
of  the  lofty  seed  of  the  white  lake  (reputed  the  first  navi- 
gator amongst  the  ancestors  of  the  Cymry),  the  son  of  the 
preserver,  the  son  of  the  hear  (Arth,  from  Arcto,  to  con- 
fine), the  son  of  the  guardian,  the  son  of  the  vessel,  the  son 
of  the  living  one. 

To  an  ordinary  reader,  this  does  not  sound  like  the  *eal 
pedfgree  of  an  ancient  British  prince ;  it  is  rather  a  series  of 
mystical  terms,  relating  to  the  history  of  the  deluge. 

Even  if  we  suppose  that  these  mythological  titles  were 
conferred  upon  the  ancestors  of  Caractacus,  it  is  nothing 
more  than  ai^  early  instance  of  a  custom,  which  is  known 
to  have  prevailed  in  the  fifth,  and  beginning  of  the  sixth 
century,  when  the  Britons,  delivered  from  the  Roman 
yoke,  attempted  to  re-establish  their  ancient  superstition. 

♦  Owen's  Cam,  Biog.    V.  Llyr. 


And  still,  'the  confinement  of  Ulyr,  in  the  prison  of  Eur<- 
oszeydd,  the  splendid  destroyer,  seems,  to  allude  to  his  ini- 
tiation into  certain  mysteries,  rather  than  to  his  detention 
at  Rome,  either  with  his  illustrious  grandson,  or  as  a  hos- 
tage in  his  place. 

Tire  imprisonment  of  Madawc,  who  is  sometimes  styled 
ihe  son  of  Mellt,  lightning,  is  said,  in  another  Triads  to 
have  been  amongst' the  Gwyddelian  Picts  ;  and  the  legend, 
probably,  alludes  to  some  similar  mysteries,  which  were 
celebrated  in  the  North  of  Britain,  when  the  Romans  were 
masters  of  the  South; 

The  nature  of  Gwair's  imprisonment  may  be  easily  com- 
prehended, by  the  assistance  of  Taliesin's, Preiddeu  Annwii^ 
spoils  of  the  deep,  or  ravages  of  the  deluge,  which  begins 
thus — 

"  I  will  adore  the  sovereign,  the  supreme  ruler  of  the 
''  land!  If  he  extended  his  Aomimon  oyer  the  shores  of  the 
"  world,  yet  in  good  order  was  the  prison  of  Gwair,  in 
"  Caer  Sidi.  Through  the  mission  of  Pwyll  and  Pryderi 
'•'  (reason  and  forethought),  no  one  before  him  entered 
"  into  it.  The  heavy,  blue  chain  didst  thou,  O  just  man! 
*'  endure ;  and  for  the  spoils  of  the  deep,  woful  is  thy 
"  song;  and  till  the  doom  shall  it  remain  in  the  Bardic 
"'  prayer.  Thrice  the  fullness  of  Prydxcen  did  rce  enter 
"  into  the  deep ;  excepting  seven,  none  have  returned  from 
«  Caer  Sidi" 

This  is  clearly  the  history  of  the  deluge;  and  Gwair,  re- 
novation, the  just  man,  being  the  first  and  principal  person 

*  AppeDdUi  No.  3, 


who  entered  Caer  Sldii  the  ark,  when  the  Supreme  exerted 
his  power  over  the  shores  of  the  world,  could  have  been  no 
other  than  the  patriarch  himself. 

Gvvair  is  mysticallj'  represented  in  the  Triads  as  the  son 
of  Gwestyl,  the  great  tempest :  and  in  ajiother  place,  as  the 
son  of  Gciriawn,  the  teord  of  justice.  We  are  told,  that 
this  personage  and  his  family  were  confined  in  the  prison  of 
Oeth  and  Anoeth,  from  which  none  of  his  posterity  ever 
attempted  to  escape.*  Hence  it  appears,  that  the  prison  of 
Oeth  and  Anoeth  was  the  same  as  Caer  Sidi ;  that  is,  in  a 
primaiy  sense,  the  ark  itself,  and  in  a  secondary  accepta- 
tion, the  Arkite  temple, 

Oeth  and  Anoeth  seem  to  be  nothing  more  than  the  anti- 
quated orthography  of  Wyth  and  Anwyth,  wrath,  and  the 
remission  of  ierath — or  the  accumulation  and  the  subsiding 
of  the  deluge. 

We  have  seen  that  Cuhelyn  uses  the  term  Anoeth,  to  de- 
scribe the  great  temple,  before  which  Hengist  committed 
his  outrage — that  is,  Stonehenge. 

Myvir  corein  mirein  Anoeth. 

"  The  study  of  the  fair  circle  of  Anoeth" 

And  Taliesin  uses  lii-wyth  and  Gprwyth,  as  synonymous 
with  Anoeth  and  Oeth. 

Yn  annvvfn  y  Di-wijth 
Yn  annwfn  y  Goneyth.-\ 

*  W.  Aroh^iol.  V,  11.  p.  68.    Tri.  61. 

+  W.  Archaiol.  p.  35.  The  lines  seem  to  have,  been  transposed  bj  soibb- 
copjiist,  who  did  not  undcratand  them. 


"  In  the  deep  which  is  void  of  wrath; 
"  In  the  deep  where  extreme  indignation  dwells." 

The  perpetual  imprisonment  of  Gwair  and  his^  posterity 
in  this  inclosure,  can  only  mean,  that  the  patriarch  and  his 
family  were  once  shut  up  in  the  ark,  and  that  the  Druids 
acknowledged  none  as  his  legitimate  descendants,  but  those 
who  were  initiated  into  the  Arkite  mysteries,  and  >vho  per' 
petually  kept  within  the  pale,  or  strictly  adhered  to  the  laws 
of  their  institution, 

Hence  we  perceive,  that  Arthur's  first  confinement  in  the 
prison  of  Oeth  and  Anoeth,  was  the  same  with  that  of 
Gwair;  or,  in  other  words,  that  the  Arthur  of  mythology 
is  only  another  representative  of  the  polyonymous  patriarch. 
And  this  idea  is  confirmed  by  the  same  poem  of  Taliesin 
upon  the  spoils  of  the  deep,,  where  we  find  Arthur  presiding 
in  the  sacred  ship. — "  When  we  went  with  Arthur  in  his 
"  splendid  labours,  excepting  sevens  none  returned  frow 
"  Caer  Vediwid." 

Arthur's  second  imprisonment  with  Wen  ^endragon,  or 
the  lady  qf  the  supreme  leader,  out  of  which  GeofFry  of 
Monmouth  has  wprked  up  a  curious  tale,  is  either  a  dupli- 
pate  of  the  same  history,  taken  from  an  old  mythological 
allegory,  or  else  it  refers  to  the  mysteries  of  Ceres.  For 
the  lady  here  introduced  was  Eigi/r,  the  generative  prin- 
ciple, or  the  source, of  generation,  and  tiierefore  the  Magna 
Mates,  Ceridrcep,,  py  Ceres. 

Arthur's  third  imprisonment  in  the  cell  of  KM,  or  Kyd, 
under  the  flat  stone  of  Echemaint,  evidently  alludes  to  the 
British  mysteries,  which  commemorated  the  Diluvian  his, 
|ofy,    And  the  cell  appropriated  tb  this  emblematical  cona 



Unement,  must  have  been  of  that  kind,  which  we  still  dis- 
cover under  enormous  "  Flat  stones,"  in  various  parts  of 

As  to  the  name  of  Kyd,  the  proprietor  of  this  prison,  I 
have  already  remarked,  that  it  is  an  appellation  of  the  Ar- 
kite  goddess,  and  of  the  ark  itself. — "  Let  truth  be  ascribed 
"  to  Menwyd,  the  dragon  chief  of  the  world,  who  formed 
"  the  curvatures  of  Kyd,  which  passed  the  dale  of  grievous 
"  water,  having  the  fore-part  stored  with  corn,  and  mounted 
*'  aloft,  with  the  connected  serpents."* 

I  also  observe,  that  in  an  old  christian  poem,  which  goes 
under  the  name  of  Taliesin,  the  jfeA  which  swallowed  Jonof 
is  called  Kyd. —  , 

A  ddug  Jonas  o  berfedd  Kyd  \ 

«  Who  brought  Jonas  out  of  the  bdly  of  Kyd?" 

This  is  onlyt  the  Greek  kiw?,  which  Mr.  Bryant  pro- 
nounces to  have  been  an  emblem  of  the  ark.J  Whether 
our  ancestors  viewed  their  Kyd  under  this  emblem  or  not,  I 
will  not  pretend  to  decide ;  but  I  observe  that,  in  one  old 
copy  on  vellum,  the  cell  under  the  flat  stone  is  siniply  called 
Carchar  HM,  the  prison  of  mystery. 

The  name  ISchemaint,  which  is  given  to  this  stone,  I  do 

*  Appendix,  No.  IS. 

+  W.  Archaiol.  p.  43. 

%  Analysis,  V.  fit.  p.  301  and  408. 

4tO  ^ 

not  understand:  in  another  copy,  it  is  called  Y  Llech  m 
Chymmraint,  the  flat  stone  of  social  privilege :  and  this 
seems  to  describe  an  instrument  of  initiation,  which  ad- 
mitted the  aspirant  to  the  privileges  of  the  regenerate  society. 

But  to  dismiss  this  inquiry.  Under  whatj^aif  stones  could 
the  Arkite  goddess  have  confined  her  votaries,  in  order  to 
confer  these  privileges  upon  them,  unless  it  were  those 
which  are  attached  to  her  sanctuaries,  which  cover  recep- 
tacles proper  for  the  purpose,  which  are  denoniinated  stone 
arks,  and  which,  in  their  local  designations,  retain  the  name 
of  Arthur  and  Ceridwen,  and  the  memorial  of  Arkite 
mysteries  ? 

Arthur  is  said  to  have  been  released  from  each  of  the 
three  prisons  by  Goreu,  Best,  the  son  of  Cystenin,  which  is 
the  British  name  of  Constantine ;  but  no  son  of  that  prince 
could  have  released  the  patriarch  from  the  prototype  of  the 
mystic  cell.  We  may  therefore  suppose,  that  the  compiler 
of  the  tale  plays  upon  the  sound  of  tlie  word,  and  that  we 
ought  to  understand  Cistenin,  the  minister  of  the  arJc, 



Traditions  relating  to  the  Progress,  Revolutions,  and  Sup- 
pression  of  the  British  Superstition. 

jI\  ^CCESSFUL  investigation  of  the  progress  and  revo- 
lutions of  Druidism,  might  be  expected  to  attract  the  no- 
tice of  the  public.  It  would  certainly  be  curious  to  trace  the 
changes,  whether  improvements  or  corruptions,  which  toot 
place  in  the  rdigion  of  our  early  progenitors,  and  to  have 
an  opportunity  of  discriminating  between  those  rites  and 
superstitions,  which  they  originally  brought  with  them  into 
Britain,  and  those  which,  in  the  course  of  ages,  they 
adopted  from  other  pations,  or  devised  from  their  own 

But  for  the  basis  of  such  an  investigation,  we  want  an 
authentic  historical  document,  enlighted  by  accurate  chro- 
nology, and  divested  of  allegorical  obscurity.  Upon  this 
subject,  no  such  aid  is  to  be  found.  The  religion  of  the 
Britons,  like  that  of  other  heathens,  grew  up  in  the  dark. 
All  that  we  hav€  left  is  a  mass  of  mythological  notices, 
which  were  certainly  written  in  ages,  when  Druidism  was 
in  high  esteem,  and  had  many  votaries  :  ^nd  from  those, 
the  genuine  opinion  and  tradition  of  the  Britons,  dur- 
ing those  ages,  may  be  in  some  measure  collected. 
From  these  aenigmatical  tablets,  I  shall  attempt  to  make 


a  few  slight  sketches,  with  the  hope  of  gratifying  the 
curious,  and  affording  some  little  light  to  the  antiquary ; 
though  from  the  nature  of  my  materials,  I  almost  despair 
of  amusing  the  general  reader. 

In  the  first  place,  it  may  be  inferred  from  the  tone  of 
the  evidence  already  produced,  that  the  primitive  religion  of 
the  Cymry  (long  before  the  age  of  the  oldest  Bard  who  is 
now  extant,)  was  a  kind  of  apbstasy  from  the  patriarchal 
religion,  or  a  mere  corruption  of  it. 

In  the  tradition  of  this  people,  I  have  remarked  the  local 
account  of  a  vessel,  from  which  they  assert,  that  their  pro- 
genitors sprung  after  a  general  deluge  :  I  have  noticed  their 
exclusive  claim  to  the  universal  patriarch  of  all  nations ;  I 
have  observed,  that  their  superstition  strongly  verged  from 
all  points,  towards  the  history  of  the  deluge,  and  toward? 
that  system  of  theology,  which  Mr.  Bryant  denominates 
Arkite :  I  have  shewn  that  they  worshipped  the  patriarch, 
as  a  deity,  though  they  had  not  forgotten,  that  he  was  a 
just  and  pious  man :  and  \  think  I  have  proved,  that  the 
Ceridwen  of  the  Druids  was  as  much  the  genim  of  the  ark, 
as  the  Ceres  and  Isis  of  our  great  mythologist. 

If  the  Bards  exhibit,  together  with  this  Arkite  supersti- 
tion, that  mixture  of  Sahian  idolatry,  or  worship  of  the 
host  of  heaven,  which  the  second  volupie  of  the  Analysis 
traces,  as  blended  with  the  same  mythology,  over  great 
part  of  the  ancient  world ;  yet  we  observe,  that  the  Solar. 
divinity  is  always  represented  as  the  third,  or  youngest  of 
the  great  objects  of  adoration:  hence  it  may  be  inferred, 
that  the  worship  of  the  patriarch,  in  conjunction  with  the 
sun,  was  an  innovation,  rather,  tlian  an  original  and  funda,- 
mental  principle,  of  the  Druidical  religion. 


That  this  opinion  was  inculcated  by  our  old  mythologists, 
appears  from  a  very  singular  triad,  which  I  propose  to 
analyze.  But  the  reader  of  taste  may  require  some  apology, 
for  the  homeliness  of  its  characters. 

Mythologists  have  never  been  very  scriipulous  in  the  se- 
lection of  their  figures.  Gods  and  their  priests  have  been 
presented  to  us,  under  the  form  of  every  animal  character, 
from  the  elephant  and  the  lion,  to  the  insect  and  the  rep- 
tile. And  it  is  not  to  be  expected,  that  our  ancestors  should 
have  been  more  delicate  in  their  choice,  than  other  nations 
more  enlightened  and  more  refined. 

Without  any  such  affectation  of  superior  taste,  they  bring 
forward  three  distinct  states  pf  the  British  hierarchy,  but 
all  of  them  more  or  less  Arkite,  under  the  characters  of 
three  mighty  szeine  herds. 

Their  disciples,  of  course,  consisted  of  a  multitude  of 
swine,  I  am  not  calling  them  names — these  are  the  titles 
they  thought  proper  to  assume:  and  no  doubt,  they  re- 
garded them  as  very  respectable  and  becoming. 

Though  this  representation  be  partly  peculiai*  to  the 
Britons,  it  has  still,  some  analogy  with  the  notions  and 
the  mythology  of  other  heathens. 

Thus,  we  are  told  that  the  priests  of  the  Cabiri  were 
styled  Sues — swine.  Greece  and  Rome  consecrated  the 
soffl  to"  Ceres,  and  gave  it  the  name  of  the  myistical  animal. 
The  learned  and  ingenius  M.  De  Gebelin  says,  that  this 
selection  was  made,  not  only  because  the  sow  is  a  very  pro- 
lific animal,  but  also,  because  she  phws  the  grovnd,  and 


because  the  plongli  has  a  figure  similar  to  that  of  her  snotit, 
and  produces  the  same  effect.* 

The  Cymry  proceeded  somewhat  further,  but  still  upon  the 
same  road.  lu  Britain,  Ceres  herself  assumes  the  character 
of  Hwch,  a  sow ;  she  addresses  her  child,  or  devotee,  by  the 
title  of  Forchellan,  little  pig ;  her  congregation  are  Mock, 
swine;  her  chief  priest  is  Turch,  a  boar,  or  Gwydd  Hwch, 
boar  of  the  wood,  or  grove ;  and  her  Hierarchy  is  Meichiad,  a 
swine  herd. 

The  triad  which  I  have  mentioned,  upon  the  subject  of 
the  three  mighty  swine  herds,  is  preserved  in  several  copies,  ■{•" 
from  a  collation  of  which,  I  shall  subjoin  an  English  ver- 
sion, and  add  some  remarks  upon  each  particular. 

"  The  first  of  the  mighty  swine  herds  of  the  island  of 
"  Britain,  was  Pryderi,  the  son  of  Pwyll,  chief  of  Annwn^ 
"  who  kept  the  swine  of  his  foster-father,  Pendaran  Dyved, 
"  in  the  vale  of  Cwch,  in  Emlyn,  whilst  his  own  father, 
«  Pwyll,  was  in  Annwn." 

In  order  to  understand  the  meaning  of  this  mythology, 
it  will  be  necessary  first  of  all,  to  take  some  notice  of  the 
persons  and  places  here  introduced, 

Pryderi,  called  also  Gzcynvardd  Dyved,  was  the  son  of 
Pwyll,  Lord  of  Dyved,  the  son  of  Meirig,  the  son  of  Arcol, 

*  Monde  Primitif.  Tom.  IV.  p.  679, 
t  W.  Arcliaiol.  V.  11.  p.  6.  20.  72.  77. 


with  tbe  long  haad,  the  son  of  Pyr,  or  Pur  of  tHe  East, 
the  son  of  Llion  the  ancient.* 

Though  the  vanity  of  certain  Welsh  families,  has  in- 
scribed these  princes  in  the  first  page  of  their  pedigrees,  it 
Would  be  absurd  to  connect  their  history  with  any  known 
chronological  period.  It  is  purely  mytliofe^cal,  as  ap- 
pears from  the  very  import  of  their  names. 

Pryderi  is  deep  thought,  or  mature  consideration :  and  the 
general  subject  of  this  thought  may  be  collected  from  hi? 
other  title — Gwynvardd  Dyved — Dr.uid  of  Demetia. 

Pztyll,  his  father,  is  reason,  discretion,  prudence,  or  pa- 
tience^ That  both  the  father  and  the  son  were  characters, 
wholly  mj'stica],  or  personifications  of  abstract  ideas;  is 
shewn  in  Taliesin's  spoils  of  the  deep,f  where  we  are  told, 
that  the  diluvian  patriarch  first  ^entered  the  ark,  by  the 
counsel  of  Pwyll  and  Pryderi. 

Meirig  is  a  guardian.  In  this  series,  the  word  ought  to 
be  translated,  though  it  has  been  the  proper  name  of  seve- 
ral Britons. 

Ar-col  may  imply  the  man  of  the  lofty  mount;  but  as 
Arcol  with  the  long  hand,  was  avowedly  of  Eastern  ex^ 
traction ;  it  is  probable  his  name  may  have  been  of 
Eastern  derivation :  and  if  so,  he  may  have  been  no  less 
a  personage  than  the  great  Hercules,  v.ho  was  known  in  the 
East  by  similar  titles,  as  we  are  informed  by  Mr.  Bryant ; 

•  Cambrian  Biog.  under  the  articles  Fryitri,  Fvyll,  and  Meirig. 
f  Appendix,  No,  3. 


who  tells  us,  that  in  the  neighbourhood  Of  Tyre  and  SKdoii^ 
the  chief  deity  went  by  the  name  of  Ourchol,  the  same  as 
ArcJiel  and  Arcles  of  Egypt,  whence  came  the  Heracles  and 
Hercules  of  Greece  and  Rome.* 

But  the  history  of  Hercules,  as  we  learn  from  the  same 
author,  alludes  to  a  mixture  of  Arkite  and  Sabian  idolatry. 
— "  It  is  said  of  Hercules,  that  he  traversed  a  vast  sea,  in 
"  a  cup,  or  skiff,  which  Nereus,OT  Oceanus  sent  him  for 
"  his  preservation  :  the  same  history  is  given  to  Helius,  (the 
"  sun)  who  is  said  to  have  traversed  the  ocean  in  the  same 
«  vehicle."  t 

If  the  critics  can  pardon  an  attempt  to  identify  Areol, 
in  the  character  of  Hercules,  I  need  not  dread  their  cen* 
sure  for  supposing,  that  his  father  Pyr,  or  Pur  of  the  East, 
is  to  be  found  amongst  the  known  connexions  of  that 


Pyr  is  the  Greek  name  ofjire,  and  mythologically  of  the 
sun,  who  was  the  same  as  Hercules.  And  the  great  ana- 
lyzer of  mythology  assures  us,  that  Pur  was  the  ancient 
name  of  Latian  Jupiter,  the  father  of  Hercules  ;  that  he 
was  the  deity  of  fire ;  that  his  name  was  particularly  retained 
amongst  the  people  of  Prseneste,  who  had  been  addicted 
to  the  rites  of  fire ;  that  they  called  their  chief  god  Pur, 
and  dealt  particularly  in  divination  by  lots,  termed  of  old, 

♦  Analysis,  V.  I.  p.  40. 
+  Ibid.  V.  II.  p.  404. 
%  Ibid.  V,  I.  p.  124. 


•  From  hence  it  may  be  conjectured,  with  some  degree  of 
probability,  that  this  mystical  family,  which, was  of  JSas^erw 
origin,  had  a  certain  connexion  with  the  history  of  Jupiter 
and  Hercules. 

But  lest  we  should  lose  sight  of  the  fundamental  prin- 
ciples of  Arkite  theology,  our  mythological  herald  takes 
care  to  inform  us,  that  Pyr,  of  the  East,  was  the  son  of 
Llion  the  Ancient,  that  is,  the  deluge,  or  the  Diluvian  god : 
for  the  waters  of  Llion  are  the  great  abyss,  which  is  con- 
tained under  the  earth,  and  which  once  burst  forth,  and 
overwhelmed  the  whole  world. 

This  mythological  pedigree,  therefore,  only  declares  the 
,  Arkite  origin  of  a  certain  mystical  system,  which  wa^  in- 
troduced into  Britain  through  the  medium  of  some  Eastern 

The  characters  here  introduced,  are  represented  as  princes 
of  Demetia,  the  country  of  Seithenin  Saidi,  who  is  Saturn 
or  Noah.  This  region  was  so  greatly  addicted  to  mystical 
rites,  that  it  was  called,  by  way  of  eminence,  Bro  yr  Hud, 
the  land  of  mystery-,  and  said  to  have  been  formerly  enve- 
loped in  Llengil,  a  veil  of  concealment. 

But  we  are  not  immediately  to  conclude,  that  Pryderi 
conducted  his  swine,  according  to "  the  rules  of  his  Eastern 
ancestors.  These  were  not  the  property  of  his  father  and 
grandfather,  but  the  herd  of  Pendaran,  lord  of  thunder, 
otherwise  called  Arawn,  the  Arkite,  and  managed  under  his 
supreme  administration.  His  authority  was  already  esta- 
blished in  the  West,  and,  as  we  shall  presently  sec,  it  was 
different  from  that  of  Arcol,  and  Pyr  Of  the  East. 

E  S 


Pryderi  kept  the  swine  of  his  foster-father,  Pmdaran, 
in  the  vale  of  Cwch,  the  boat,  or  ark,  in  Eml^n,  the  clear 
lake,  whilst  his  own  father,  PwyU,  was  ia.  Annwn,  the  deep 
— the  deluge. 

I  must  leave  the  great  swine-herd  to  the  management  of 
his  charge,  whilst  I  seek  an  elucidation  of  this  mythology, 
from  a  curious  tale  upon  the  subject  of  Pwyll's  adventures.* 

This  tale  manifestly  alludes  to  Arkite  theology;  and  I 
think,  also,  to  the  reformation  of  some  foreign  abuses,  or 
innovations,  which  were  intermixing  with  the  doctrines  and 
rites  of  the  natives,  and  to  the  rejection  of  Sabian  idolatry, 
or  solar  worship. 

The  reader  may  judge  for  himself,  by  the  following 
abstract : 

PwyU,  lord  of  the  seven  provinces  of  Dyved,  being  at 
Arberth,  Jiigh  grove,  one  of  his  chief  mansions,  appoints  a 
hunting  party — that  is,  the  celebration  of  mysteries:  thus 
Ceridwen  is  said  to  have  hunted  the  aspirant. 

The  place  whjch  he  chose  for  this  exercise,  was  Glyn- 
CfflcA,  the  vale  of  the  boat,  or  ark.  Accordingly,  he  set  out 
from  Arberth,  ^nd  came  to  the  head  of  the  grove  of  Diar- 
wya,  the  solemn  preparation  of  the  egg. 

•  Cambrian  Register,  V.I.  p.  177,    and  V.  II.   p.  3Jg.    From    tht   Red 
Sook  of  Jesis  Col,  Oxfordi  -a  MS.  of  the  14lh  century. 


Pliny's  account  of  the  preparation  of  the  Anguinum,  by 
the  Druids,  in  the  character  of  serpents,  js  well  known. 
Mr.  Bryant  also  observes,  that  an  egg  was  a  very  aftcient 
emblem  of  the  ark;  and  that  in  the  Dionusiaoa,  and  in 
other  mysteries,  one  part  of  the  nocturnal  ceremony  con- 
sisted in  the  consecration  of  an  egg.* 

In  this  grove  of  the  preparation  of  the  egg,  Pwyll  con- 
tinued that  night ;  and  early  in  the  morning  he  proceeded 
to  the  vale  of  the  boat,  and  turned  out  his  dogs — priests, 
who  were  called  Kuwj,f  dogs — under  the  wood,  or  grove. 

He  blew  his  horn — that  is,  the  herald's  horn — Thus  Ta- 
liesin  says — "  I  have  been  Mynawg,  wearing  a  collar,  with 
"  my  horn  in  my  hand :  he  is  not  entitled  fo  the  presidency, 
"  who  does  not  keep  my  word."  J 

Pwyll,  entering  fully  upon  the  chace,  and  listening  to 
the  cry  of  the  pack,  began  to  hear  distinctly  the  cry  of 
another  pack,  which  was  of  a  different  tone  from  that  of  his 
own  dogs,  and  was  coming  in  an  opposite  direction.  This 
alludes  to  some  mystic  rites,  which  essentially  differed  from 
those  of  his  Eastern  ancestors,  Arcol  and  Pyr. 

The  strange  pack  pursued  a  stag — the  aspirant — into  a 
level  open  spot — the  adytum — in  the  centre  of  the  grove, 
and  there  threw  him  upon  the  ground.  Pwyll,  without  re- 
garding the  stag,  fixed  his  eyes  with  admiration  upon  the 

E  £  2 

•  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  360. 

+  KbHej,  'oi  Mamij.     Schol.  in  Lycoph.  V.  459. 

%  Cadait  Teyrn  On.    Appendix,  No.  4. 


dogs>  which  were  all  of  a  shining  white  hue,  with  red  ears, — 
Such  is  the  popular  notion  of  the  Welsh,  respecting  the 
colour  of  Cwn  Annwn,  the  dogs  of  the  deep — a  mystical 
transformation  of  the  Druids,  with  their  white  robes  and  red 

The  prince  drives  away  the  pack  which  had  killed  the 
stag,  and  calls  his  own  dogs  upon  him — thus,  initiating  the 
aspirant  into  his  own  Eastern  mysteries. 

Whilst  he  is  thus  engaged,  the  master  of  the  white  pack 
comes  up,  reproves  him  for  his  uncourtly  behaviour,  in- 
forms him  that  he  is  a  king,  wearing  a  crown,  as  sovereign 
lord  of  Annwn,  the  deep,  and  that  his  name  is  Ai-awn,  the 
Arkite* — this  is  the  personage  who  is  also  styled  Pendaran 
— lo)-d  of  thunder. 

Pwjrll  having  expressed  a  wish  to  atone  for  his  impru- 
dent oifence,  and  to  obtain  the  friendship  of  this  august 
stranger : 

"  Behold,  says  Arawn,  how  thou  mayest  succeed  in  thy 
"  wishes.  There  is  a  person  whose  dominion  is  opposite  to 
"  mine ;  who  makes  war  upon  me  continually :  this  is  Havgan, 
"  summershine,  a  king  also  of  Annwn:  by  delivering  me 
"  from  his  invasions,  which  thou  canst  easily  do,  thou 
"  shall  obtain  my  friendship." 

This  summeishine,  who  invades  the  dominions  of  thedi- 

*  In  the  Cainbtian  Register,  Arawu  is  oddly  translated,  "  of  the  silver 
■'  tunguc."  'i'iie  word  may  imply  eloquence  ;  but  cuusidcring  his  chaiacter>  I 
rather  think  it  comes  <ro;u  tl~)X,   Aran,  anni'/ci  or  ihest. 


luvian  patriarch,  can  be  no  other  than  the  Solar  Diviniti/, 
whose  rites  had  begun  to^intermix  with,  and  partly  to  super- 
sede the  more  simple  Arkite  memorials. — Here  then,  we 
have  a  direct  censure  of  that  monstrous  absurdity,  of  ve- 
nerating the  patriarch,  in  conjunction  with  the  sun.  Pwyll, 
or  Reason,  is  represented  as  having  destroyed  this  Apollo. 

It  may  be  conjectured,  however,  from  the  works  of  the 
British-  Bards,  that  he  soon  revived  again,  and  claimed  all 
his  honours. 

But  to  go  on  with  the  story — It  was  proposed  that 
Pwyll  should  assume  the  form  oi  Arawn;  that  he  should 
immediately  leave  his  own  dominions,  and  proceed  to 
Annwn,  the  deep,  where  he  was  to  preside,  in  the  character 
and  person  of  the  king,  for  a  complete  year.  This  must 
mean,  that  he  was  to  be  initiated  into  Arkite  mysteries,  or 
to  pass  through  a  representation  of  the  same  scenes,  which 
the  patriarch  had  experienced. — Thus  Noah  had  presided  in 
the  ark,  for  precisely  the  same  period,  over  the  great  deep, 
or  the  deluged  world. 

On  the  day  that  should  complete  the  year,  Pwyll  was  to 
kill  the  usurper,  Summe? shine,  or  the  Solar  Idol,  with  a 
single  stroke ;  and  in  the  mean  time,  Arawn  assumes  the 
form  of  Pwyll,  and  engages  to  take  his  dominions  under 
his  special  charge. 

It  was  during  this  year,  of  the  mystical  deluge,  that 
Pi-yderi  guarded  the  swine  of  his  foster-father,  Arawn,  or 
Pendaran,  in  the  vale  of  the  boat.  His  herd,  therefore, 
was  purely  Arkite. 

Pwyll,  having  determined,  to  engage  in  this  great  enter- 


prize,  is  conducted  by  the  king  to  the  palace  of  the  deep — 
as  Noah  was  conducted  to  the  ark. — Being  received  by  the 
whole  court,  without  suspicion,  he  is  attended  in  due  form, 
by  Arawn:*S  ministers,  and  lodged  in  the  royal  bed — the 
n«ro;  or  cell  of  initiation — where  he  preserves  an  inviolate 
silence:  and  as  a  man,  eminently  just  and  upright,  shews  a 
wonderful  instance  of  continence  in  his  deportment  towards 
the  queen,  who  is  the  fairest  woman  iii  the  world,  and  sup- 
poses him  to  be  her  own  husband.^ — Such  were  the  trials  of 
fortitude  and  self-government,  to  which  the  aspirants  were 

On  the  appointed  day,  Pwyll  kills  the  usurper.  Summer- 
shine,  and  at  the  completion  of  the  year,  returns  from  the 
palace  of  the  deep,  into  his  own  dominions,  which  he  finds 
in  an  improved  and  rnost  flourishing  condition,  under  the 
administration  of  the  great  Arawn,  with  whom  he  contracts, 
a  perpetual  friendship. 

This  part  of  the  tale  blends  a  mystical  account  of  the 
deluge,".with  the  history  of  those  mysteries  ^yhich  were  ce- 
lebrated in  memory  of  the  great  preservation. 

The  prince  being  now  re-established  in  his  palace,  at  Ar- 
herth,  or  high  grove,  provided  a  banquet— or  solemn  sacri- 
fice— for  himself  and  his  retinue.  After  the  first  repast,  the 
whole  company  walked  forth  to  the  top  of  the  Gorsedd,  or 
Seat  of  presidency,  which  stood  above  the  palace.  Such 
was  the  quality  of  this  seat,  that  whoever  sat  upon  it,  should 
either  receive  a  wound,  or  see  a  miracle, 

Pwyll,  regardless  of  consequences,  sat  upon  the  mj'sti- 
cal  seat :  and  presently,  both  the  prince  himself,  and  the 


\vhole  of  his  retinue,  tieheld  a  lady,  motinted  upon  a  horse 
of  a  pale  bright  colour,  great,  and  very  high. 

The  lady  herself  wore  a  garment,  glittering  like  gold,  and 
advanced  along  the  main  road,-  which  led  towards  the  Gor- 
sedd.  Her  horse,  in  the  opinion  of  all  the  spectators,  had 
a  slow  and  even  pace,  and  was  coming  in  the  direction  of 
the  high  seat. 

The  reader  will  have  no  difficulty  in  comprehending,  that 
this  splendid  lady  was  the  Iris,  riding  in  her  humid  cloud ; 
and  that  she  was  coming  from  the  court  of  Araren,  upon  a 
friendly  errand.  But  as  she  was  unknown  to  all  the  company 
now  present,  Pwyll  sent  a  messenger  to  meet  her,  and  learn 
who  she  was.  One  of  his  train  rose  up  to  execute  the 
prince'  s  order;  but  no  sooner  was  he  come  into  the  road, 
opposite  to  the  fair  stranger,  than  she  passed  by  him.  He 
pursued  her  on  foot  with  the  utmost  speed:  but  the  faster 
he  ran,  the  more  he  was  distanced  by  the  lady,  though  she 
still  seemed  to  continue  the  same  gentle  pace,  with  which 
she  had  set  out  at  first.  She  was  then  followed  by  a  mes- 
senger upon  a  fleet  horse,  but  stiH  without  any  better  suc- 
cess.    The  same  vain  experiment  was  tried  the  next  day. 

The  prince  now  perceived,  that  there  was  a  mystery  in 
the  appearance:  yet,  being  persuaded,  that  the  lady  had 
business  to  communicate  to  some  one  in  that  field,  and 
hoping  that  the  honour  of  her  commands  might  be  reserved 
for  himself,  he  gets  ready  his  courser,  and  undertakes  the 
enterprize  on  the  third  day.  The  lady  appeared :  the  prince 
rode  to  meet  her :  she  passed  by  him  with  a  steady  gentle 
pace ;  he  followed  her  a  full  speed,  but  to  no  purpose. — 
Then  Pwyll  said — 


The  remainder  of  the  story  is  lost;  consequently,  our 
curiosity,  as  to  the  adventures  of  Pvvyll  and  the  mystical 
lady,  cannot  be  gratified. 

But  I  have  no  doubt,  that  this  lady  in  the  splendid  robe 
■was  the  rainbow,  that  sacred  token  of  reconciliation,  which 
appeared  to  Noah,  after  the  deluge,  and  which  was  univer- 
sally commemorated  in  Gentile  mythology. 

The  mounting  of  her  upon  a  horse,  seems  to  have  been 
a  British  device,  thus,  we  are  told  in  the  mystical  poem, 
called  The  Chair  of  Ceridwen,  that  Gwydion,  Hermes, 
formed  for  the  goddess  of  the  rainbow  a  stately  steed,  upon 
the  springing  grass,  and  with  illustrious  trappings. 

The  circumstance  of  the  vain  pursuit  of  this  phaenome- 
non,  which  seemed  to  move  so  calmly  and  steadily  along, 
may  remind  several  of  my  readers  of  a  childish  adventure 
of  their  own.,  Many  a  child  has  attempted  to  approach 
the  rainbow,  for  the  purpose  of  contemplating  its  beauty. 

Upon  the  whole  it  is  evident,  that  though  the  transcriber 
of  this  ancient  tale  may  have  introduced  some  touches  of 
the  manners  of  bis  own  age,  yet  the  main  incidents  faith- 
fully delineate  that  Arkite  Inythology,  which  pervades  the 
wriitings  of  the  primitive  Bards  ;  at  the  same  time  that  they 
pass  a  severe  censure  upon  solar  worship,  as  a  corrupt  in- 

Having  taken  this  view  of  the  great  swine-herd,  Pryderi, 
or  deep  thought,  I  pro'ceed  to  consider  the  adventures  of  the 
next  in  order,  where  we  shall  have  some  hints  of  tlie 
channel,  by  which  this  innovation  of  Sabian  idolatry  was 


The  learned  author  of  the  Mysteries  of  the  Cabiri,  gives 
me  an  opportunity  of  prefixing  a  few  hints,  which  may 
Berve  to  keep  our  British  mythologists  in  countenance. 

Having  remarked  from  Tacitus,  that  the  Estyi,  a  people 
of  Germany,  worshipped  the  mother  of  the  gods,  and  that 
the  symbol  which  they  used  was,  a  boar,  Mr.  Faber  thus 

"  Rhea,  or  the  mother  of  the  gods,  as  it  has  been  abun- 
"  dantly  shewn,  was  the  same  as  Ceres,  Venus,  Isis,  or 
"  Derceto.  She  wprs,  in  short,  the  ark  of  Noah,  from 
"  which  issued  all  the  hero-gods  of  paganism.  With  re- 
"  gard  to  the  boar,  used  by  this  German  tribe  as  an  em- 
"  blem,  we  find  it  introduced  very  conspicuously  into 
"  many  of  those  legendary  traditions,  which  relate  to  the 
"  great  event  of  the  deluge.  It  appears  to  have  been  one 
",of  the  symbols  of  the  ark,  although  not  adopted  so 
"  generally  as  the  mare,  or  the  heifer.  In  the  first  Hindoo 
"  Avatar,  Vishnou  assumes  the  form  of  a  fish ;  and  in  the 
"  third,  that  of  a  boar,  when  he  is  represented  as  emerging 
"  from  the  midst  of  the  ocean,  and  supporting  the  world 
"  upon  his  tusks.  Both  these  incarnations,  as  well  as  the 
"  second,  are  supposed  by  Sir  William  Jones  to  allude  to 
^'  the  history  of  the  flood;  whence,  as  we  have  already 
"  seen  that  a,_fish  was  emblematical  of  the  ark,  it  is  not 
"  unreasonable  to  conclude,  that  the  boar  may  be  so  like- 
"  wise.  Accordingly,  in  the  account  which  Plutarch  gives 
"us  of  the  Egyptian  Osiris,  he  mentions,  that  Typhon,  or 
"  the  deluge,  being  in  pursuit  of  one  of  those  animals, 
"  found  the  ark,  which  contained  the  body  of  Osiris,  and 
"  rent  it  asunder."  * 

♦  Myst,  of  the  Cabiri,  V.  I.  p.  820. 


The  authoi"  subjoins  the  following  note : 

"  Perhaps,  if  the  ijiatter  be  expressed  with  perfect  accu- 
"  racy,  we  ought  rather  to  say,  that  a  boar  was  symbolical 
"of  Noah,  and  a  sow  of  the  ark.  Hence  we  find,  that  as 
"  Vishaou  was  fpigned  to  have  metamorphosed  himself 
"  into  a  boar,  so  the  nurse  of  Arkite  Jupiter,  or  in  other 
"  words,  the  Noetic  ship,  is  said  by  Agathocles  to  have  been 
"  a  sow."* 

"  Coll,  the  son  of  Colhrewi — Rod,  the  ion  of  Rod  of 
"  terrors,  guarded  Henwen — old  lady,  the  sow  of  Dallwyr 
"  Dallben — mystagogue,  chief  of  mystics,  in  the  vale  of 
"  Dallzvyr — mystics,  in  Cornwall.  The  sow  was  big  with 
"  young ;  and  as^it  had  been  prophesied,  that  the  island  of 
"  Britain  would  suffer  detriment  from  her  progeny,  Arthur 
"  collected  the  force's  of  the  country,  and  went  forth  for  the 
"  purpose  of  destroying  it.  The  sow,  in  the  mean  time, 
"  being  about  to  farrow,  proceeded  as  far  as  the  promon- 
"  tbry  of  Land's-end,  in  Cornwall,  where  she  put  to  sea, 
"  with  the  swine-herd  after  her.  And  she  first  came  to 
"  land  at  Aber  Tarrogi,  in  Gwent  Is  Coed,  her  guardian 
''  still  keeping  hold  of  the  bristles,  wherever  she  wandered, 
, "  by  land  or  sea. 

",At  Wheatfeld,  in  Gwent,  she  laid  three  grains  of  wheat, 
"  and  three  bees:  hence,  Gwent  is  famous  to  this  day  for 
"  producing  the  best  wheat  and  honey. 

Agath,  apwJ  Allien.  Deipnos,    Lib.  IX.  p.  375. 


"  From  Gwent,  she  proceeded  to  Dyved ;  and  in  Llonnio 
"  Llomven,  the  pleasant  spot  of  the  tranqml  lady,  laid  a 
«  grain  of  barley,  and  a  pig:  and  the  barley  and  swin£  of 
"  Dyved  are  become  proverbial. 

"  After  this,  she  goes  towards  Arvon,  and  in  Lleyn  she 
"  laid  a  grain  of  rye.:  since  which  time,  the  best  rye  is  pro- 
"  duced  in  Lleyn  and  Eivionydd. 

"  Proceeding  from  thence,  to  the  vicinity  of  the  cliif  of 
"  CyverthwQh,_  in  Eryri,  she  laid  the  cub  of  a  wolf,  and 
"  an  eaglet.  Coll  gave  the  eagle  to  Brymch,  a  Northern 
"  Gwyddelian  prince,  of  Dinas  4ff(fraon,  and  the  present 
"  proved  detrimental  to  him.  Tlje  wplf  was  given  to  Men- 
"  waed,  lord  of  Arllechwedd.  ^ 

"  These  were  the  wolf  of  Menwaed,  and  the  eagle  of  Bry- 
"  nach,  which,  in  after  times  became  so  famoys. 

"  From  hence,  the  sow  went  to ,  the  black  stone  in  Arvon, 
"  under  which  she  laid  a  kitten,  which  CoU  threw  from  the 
"  top  of  the  stone  into  the  Menai.  The  sons  of  Palm,  in 
"  Mona,  took  it  up,  and  nursed  it,  tb  their  own  injury. 
"  This  became  the  celebrated  Paluc  cat,  one  of  the  three 
"  chief  molesters  bf  Mona,  which  were  nursed  within  the 
"  island.  The  second  of  these  molestors  was  Daronwy ;  and 
"  the  third  was  Edwin,  the  Northumbrian  king." 

I  should  not  have  exhibited  this  fantastical  story,  were  I 
not  persuaded  that  it  contains  some  important  tradition 
respecting  the  progress  of  superstition  in'  our  country,  of 
which  no  other  account  is  to  be  found  aiOd  tliat  the  great- 
est part  of  it  may  be  explained. 


Before  we  attend  to  the  mystical  sow,  and  her  ill-omened 
progeny,  it  may  be  proper  to  take  some  notice  of  her 

Rod,  the  son  of  the  rod  of  terrors,  or  of  religious  awe, 
the  hero  of  this  singular  tale,  cannot  be  regarded  as  an 
individual  person.  He  is  an  ideal  charactei;,  implying  a 
principal  agent,  or  the  aggi'egate  of  agents,  in  conducting 
a  particular  mode  of  superstition. 

Coll  is  repeatedly  mentioned  in  the  mythological  Triads. 
He  is  there  classed  with  the  great  deified  patriarch,  Hu 
Gadarn,  as  one  of  three  personages,  who  conferred  distin- 
guished benefits  upon  the  Cymry  nation.  He  has  the 
credit  of  having  first  introduced  wheat  and  barley  into 
Britain,  where  only  rye  and  oats  had  been  known  before  his 
time.*  Hence  it  appears,  that  he  must  have  been  a  great 
favourite  of  Ceres,  the  goddess  of  cultivation. 

He  is  again  brought  forwards,  as  one  of  the  three  great 
presidents  of  mysteries.-)-  And  here,  we  must  regard  his 
doctrine  and  institutes,  as  comprehending  the  mystical  theo- 
logy and  rites,  which  prevailed  in  a  certain  age,  or  over 
certain  districts  of  these  islands. 

From  a  collation  of  the  passages  in  which  this  notice 
occurs,  it  may  be  deduced,  that  there  had  been  three  dis- 
tinct modes,  or  stages  of  mysticism,  amongst  the  Britons. 

That  of  Menu,  the  son  of  the  three  loud  calls,  and  of 

•  W.  ArchaioI.V.  II.  p.  67. 
+  Ibid.  p.  r,  n,  77. 


Vthyr  Bendragon,  or  the  wonderful  supreme  leader,  was  the 
first  of  these. 

That  of  Coll,  the  son  of  Collvrezei,  and  of  Eiddilic  Corr, 
or  Gwyddelin  Corr,  constituted  the  second :  and  this  agreed 
with  the  mode  of  Rhuddlwm  Gawr,  or  the  red,  bony 

And  that  of  Math,  the  son  of  Mathonwy,  Drych  eil 
Cibddar,  and  Gxvydion  ah  Don  was  the  third. 

The  first  of  these  modes  or  stages,  I  suppose  to  have 
been  that  corruption   of  the  patriarchal  religion,   or  the 
more  simple  Arkite  theology,  which  originally  prevailed 
amongst  the  Cymry,    and  of  which  we  have  alread}'  had . 
some  hints,  under  the  characters  of  Pwyll  and  Pryderi. 

As  to  the  second;  when  we  recollect,  that  Coll  first 
began  the  superintendance  of  his  mystical  sow  in  Cornwall, 
which  either  was  one  of  the  Cassiterides  of  the  ancients,  or 
efee  certainly  carried  on  an  intercourse  with  those  tin 
islands,  it  may  be  conjectured,  that  the  red  bony  giant,  the 
original  introducer  of  this  superstition,  and  who  is  repre- 
sented as  the  uncle  and  mystical  preceptor  of  Coll,  was  no 
other  than  the  Phanician,  or  red  merchant,  half  Canaanite, 
and  half  Edomite,  who  traded  with  the  tin  islands.  And 
as  this  became  the  system  of  Corr,  the  Coraniad,  or  Bel- 
gian, and  also  of  Gwyddelin,  the  Gwyddelian,  whom  our 
writers  regard  as  of  the  same  family  with  the  other,  it 
appears  to  be  the  meaning  of  the  Triads,  that  the  Belg» 
of  Britain  and  Ireland  adopted  the  mode  of  this  stranger. 
Of  the  introduction  of  the  same  mysticism  into  Wales, 


and  immediately  from  Cornwall,  we  have  a  more  detailed 
accoiint  in  the  adventures  of  Coll  and  his  wonderful  sow. 
This  superstition  contained  memorials  of  the  deluge ;  but  it 
verged  more  strongly  towards  Sabian  idolatry. 

The  third  mode,  namely>  that  of  Math,  Drych,  and 
Gwydion,  seems  to  have  been  a  mixture  of  the  two  former; 
that  is,  of  the  superstition  of  the  original  Cymry,  and  the 
more  idolatrous  rites  of  the  PhcEnicians  :  or  that  confijsion 
of  principles  which  we  find  in  the  old  British  Bards,  and 
which  Mr.  Bryant  has  detected  amongst  many  ancient 

Coll  is,  then,  the  great  agent  in  the  adventitious  branch 
of  the  Druidical  religion. 

Having  thus  seen  what  is  mSant  by  his  character,  we 
will  prodeed  to  the  history  of  his  sow :  and  we  shall  find, 
that  however  absurd  it  may  be  in  the  literal  sense,  great 
part  of  it  will  admit  of  explanation  upon  mythological 

The  name  of  this  mystical  animal  was  HSnwen,  old  Iddy, 
a  proper  title  for  the  great  mother,  Da-Mater,  or  Ceres,  to 
whom  the  sow  was  sacred.  But  Ceres,  or  thd'  great  mother, 
as  Mr.  Bryant  has  proved,  was  the  genius  of  the  ark. 
Agreeably  to  this  decision,  it  has  occurred  to  our  country- 
men, that  under  this  allegory  of  a  sow,  we  must  understand 
the  history  of  a  ship.  Upon  the  story  of  Coll  Mid  his  mys- 
tical charge,  Mr.  Owen  remarks,  that  under  this  extraor- 
dinary recital,  there  seems  to  be  preserved  the  record  of 
the  appearance  of  a  strange  ship  on  the  cosists,  under  the 
appellation  of  a  sow :  and  that  it  was  probably  a  Phamician 


ship,  which  imported  into  the  island  the  various  things  here 

And  again  in  his  Dictionary,  under  the  word  Hwch,  a 
sow,  the  same  author  tells  us — "  It  has  been  also  used  as  an 
"  epithet  for  a  ship,  for  the  same  reason  as  Banw  is  applied 
"  to  a  pig,  and  to  a  coffer;  the  abstract  meaning  of  the 
"  word  being  characteristic  of  the  form  of  both.  There  is 
"  a  tradition  in  Monmouthshire,  that  the  first  corn  sown 
"  in  Wales  was  at  Maes  Gteenith,  Wheatfield,  in  that 
"  county,  and  was  brought  there  by  a  ship;  which,  in  a 
"  Triad  alluding  to  the  same  event,  is  called  Hwch" — that 
is,  a  sow.      ,         I 

That  this  tale  alludes  to  the  history  of  a  sMp  or  vessel, 
there  can  be  no  doubt :  and  we  first  hear  of  its  being  in 
Cornwall,  that  part  of  Britain  which  is  supposed  to  have 
had  a  peculiar  intercourse  with  the  Phoenicians. 

But,  in  a  literal  sense,  wolves  and  eagled  must  have  been 
very  useless,  as  well  as  unnecessary,  articles  of  importation 
to  the  ancient  Britons.  This  was  a  sacred  ship.  Its  cargo 
consisted,  not  in  common  merchandise,  but  in  religious 
symbols  and  apparatus.  And  there  is  every  reason  to  con- 
elude,  that  it  was  itself  a  symbol  of  the  ark. 

I  have  already  observed,  that  the  name  of '  this  mystical 
vehicle,  old  lady,  was  a  proper  epithet  for  the  great  mother 
—the  ark. 

The  depositing  of  the  various  kinds  of  grain,  points-  to 

»  Carob.  Biog.    V.  Coll. 


the  office  of  Ceres,  who  was  the  genius  of  the  ark ;  to  the 
British  Ked,  who  passed  through  the  deluge,  stored  mtk 
corn;  and  to  the  character  of  Ceridwen,  who  is  styled 
Ogyroen  Amhad,  the  goddess  of  various  seeds,  and  whose 
mysteries  were  Arkite. 

The  whimsical  use  of  the  verh  dodwi,  to  lay,  as  a  hen 
lays  her  eggs,  when. applied  to  the  parturition  of  the  mys- 
tical sow,  or  s}dp,  cannot  be  accounted  for,  till  we  recol- 
lect, that  our  Arkite  goddess  is  styled  and  described  as  a 

And  this  symbolical  sow,  like  the  Argo  of  antiquity, 
proceeds  by  land,  as  well  as  by  sea,  attended  by  her  mys- 
tical priest. 

The  place  from  whence  she  began  her  progress,  and  the 
persons  to  whom  she  belonged,  with  equal  clearness  point 
out  her  mythological  character.  For  this  sow,  we  are  told, 
was  the  property  of  Dallwyr,  the  blind  men,  or  Murai  of 
Dallben,  the  mystagogue;  and  was  guarded  in  Glyti  Dall- 
wyr, the  glen,  or  ^a/e,  of  the  mystics,  in  Cornwall. 

To  this  spot  she  had  been  confined  during  a  considerable 
period;  for  the  Britons  were  aware  of  her  being  there,  and 
were  jealous  of  the  innovations  whi9h  she  might  introduce. 
Hence  the  old  prophecy,  that  Britain  would  be  injured  by 
her  progeny.  She  was,  therefore,,  of  foreign  extraction ; 
and  the  doctrines  and  rites  of  her  priests  differed  from  the 
more  simple  religion  of  the  natives.  Wherefore,  as  soon 
as  she  began  to  propagate,  or  produce  converts  in  the  coun- 
try, the  mythological  Arthur,  the  mystical  head  of  the 
native,  and  hitherto  patriarchal  religion,  collected  the  forces 


of  the  island,  in  order  to  exterininate  her  race ;  but  the  de* 
sign  proved  abortive — tlie  novel  system  gained  ground. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  various  deposits  of  this  mystical 

The  first  consisted  df  three  grains  of  wheaty  and  a  Triad 
of  bees.  The  wheat,  every  one  knows  to  be  the  fruit  of 
Ceres :  and  in  Britain,  the  person  who  aspired  td  the  mys-* 
teries  of  that  goddess,  was  transformed  into  a  mystical 
grain  of  piire  wheat.  And  as  to  the  bees  of  mythology, 
the  great  analyzer  of  ancient  tradition  proves,  from  a  mul- 
titude of  circumstances^  that  the  Melissa,  or  bees,  were 
certainly  female  attendants  in  the  Arkite  templesi* 

The  appropriation  of  this  title  to  the  priestesses  of  Certs, 
Mr.  Bryant,  as  usual,  attributes  to  an  error  of  the  Greeks 
in  the  interpretation  of  a  foreign  term.  If  th\s  be  allowed, 
the  same  blunders  constantly  pervading  the  sacred  vocabu- 
laries of  the  Greeks  and  Britons,  might  be  insisted  upon 
as  arguments,  that  the  latter  borrowed  their  theology  im- 
mediately from  the  former,  which  I  think  was  not  the  case 
in  generaL  The  history  of  the  provident  bee,  the  architect 
of  her  own  commodious  cell,  in  which  she  weathers  out  the 
destructive  winter^  might  supply  another  reason  for  making 
her  the.  symbol  of  an  Arkite  priestess. 

But  passing  over  our  author's  etymologies,  and  taking 
along  with  us  his  historical  deductions,  it  will  appear,  that 
the  sacred  ship  which  bi-ought  the  bees,  was  a  representa- 

F   E 

♦  An»ly3is,  V.  U.  p^  33r. 


tive  of  the  ark.  For  the  same  distinguished  writer,  who 
first  proved  that  Ceres  was  the  genius  of  the  ark,  has  also 
shewn,  that  she  was  styled  Melissa,  or  the  bee,  and  that  the 
Melissa;  were  her  priestesses. 

So  that  in  this  British  tale,  we  have  the  record  of  an 
Arkite  temple,  founded  in  Monmouthshire  by  a  colony  of 
priests,  which  came  from  Cornwall,  with  an  establishment 
of  three  Arkite  ministers. 

The  grain  of  barley,  and  the  pig,  or  one  of  her  own 
species,  which  the  mystical  sow-  deposited  in  the  pleasiint 
spot  of  the  tranquil  lady,  in  Demetia,  or  Pembrokeshire, 
amounts  to  nearly  the  same  thing. 

The  next  remarkable  deposit,  consisted  in  the  cuh  of  a 
wolf,  a,nd  the  eaglet. 

The  wolf  of  mythology,  according  to  Mr.  Bryant,  re- 
lated to  the  worship  of  the  sun.*  The  eagle  also,  he  tells 
us,  was  one  of  the  insignia  of  Egypt,  and  was  particularly 
sacred  to  the  sun.  It  was  called  Ait,  or  Aeto?;  and  Homer 
alludes  to  the  original  meaning  of  the  word,  when  he  terms 
the  eagle  Aieto?  ai9(<)».-f- 

Hence  it  appears,  that  the  Arkite  mysteries  of  this  old 
lady  were  intimately  blended  with  an  idolatrous  worship  of 
the  sun — that  usurper,  whom  we  have  seen  the  great  Arawn 
king  of  the  deep,  so  anxious  to  remove. 

•  Analysis  V,  I,  p.  78. 
+  Ibid,  p.  19. 


The  eagle  and  the  wolf  were  deposited  in  Eri/n,  or  Snow- 
don;  and  Coll  is  said  to  have  presented  the  former  to  a 
Northern  prince,  and  the  latter  to  a  lord  of  Arllechwedd : 
which  must  he  understood  to  mean,  that  these  symbols  of 
solar  worship  were  introduced  from  Cornwall,  by  a  circui- 
tous route,  into  the  regions  of  Snowdon,  and  from  thence 
into  North  Britain,  and  Arllechwedd. 

The  place  where  the  eagle  and  wolf  were  deposited,  de- 
serves attention.  It  was  qn  the  top  of  Rhizv  Gyxierthwch 
the  panting  cliff,  in  Snowdon,  and  in  a  structure  called 
Dinas  Affaraon,  or  Pharaon,  the  citi/  of  the  higher  powers.* 
The  scite  was  upon  the  road  from  the  promontory  of  Lleyn, 
to  that  part  of  ^he  coast  which  is,  opposite  to  Mona,  foi 
the  mystical  sow  takes  it  in  her  way.^  Hence  it  seems  to 
have  been  the  same  which  is  now  known  by  the  name  of 
Y  Ddinas,  the  city,  thus  described  by  the  Annotator  upon 

"  On  the  top  of  Penmaen,  stands  a  lofty  and  impreg- 
"  nable  hill,  called  Braich  y  Ddinas  (the  ridge  of  the  city), 
"  where  we  find  the  ruinous  walls  of  an  exceeding  strong 
"  fortification,  encompassed  with  a  triple  wall ;  and  within 
"  eacA  wall,  the  foundation  of,  at  least,  a,  hundred  towers, 
"  all  round,  and  of  equal  bigness,  and  about  six  yards  dia- 
"  meter  within  the  walls.  The  walls  of  this  Dinas  were,  in 
"  most  places,  two  yards  thick,  and  in  some  about  three. 
"  This  castle  seems,  while  it  stood,  impregnable,  there 
"  being  no  way  to  offer  any  assault  to  it ;  the  hill  being  so 

F  F  2 

*  Pharaon  seems  to  be  the  Britisli  name  of  the  Cabiri ,  their  priests,  called 
Fheryll,  were  skilled  in  metallurgy,  and  are  said  to  have  possessed  certain 
books  upon  mysterious  subjects. 


"  very  high/  steep,    and   rocky,   and  the  walls  of  socb 

"  strength. At  the  summit  of  this  rock,  within  the'irt- 

"  nermost  Wall,  there  is  a  well,  which  affords  plenty  t)f 
"  water  in  the  dryest  summer. — —The  greatness  of  the 
"  work,  shews  that  it  was  a  princely  fortification,  strength- 
"  ened  by  nature  and  workmanship,  seated  on  the  top  of 
"  one  of  the  highest  mountains  of  that  part  of  Snowdon, 
"  which  lies  towards  the  sea."* 

The  temple  of  Ceres,  in  the  GytylcU,  is  only  about  the 
distance  of  a  mile  from  this  place.  This  stately  pilel,  which 
has  left  no  other  local  memorial  of  its  greatriess,  but  the 
emphatical  name — "  The  city,"  mnst  have  been,  as  I  cont- 
jecture,  the  celebrated  Dinas  Phar'don,  in  the  rocks  of 
Snowdon,  which  had  also  the  name  of  Dinas  Emrys,  or 
the  amhrosial  city.  This  was  famous,  not  only  for  the  wolf 
and  eagle,  which  were  deposited  by  the  mystical  sow,  but 
also  for  certain  dragons,-^  which  appeared  in  the  time  of 
Beli,  the  son  of  Manhogan,  or,  as  we  are  otherwise  told, 
in  the  time  of  Prydain,  the  son  of  Aedd  the  Greaf% — that 
is,  in  the  age  of  the  solar  divinity.  In  this  Dinas,  the  dra- 
gons were  lodged  by  a  son  of  Belt,  or  child  of  the  sun;  and 
the  destiny  of  Britain  was  supposed  to  depend  upon  the  due 
concealment  of  the  mystery .§ 

»  Gitson's  Camden  Col.  801. 
+  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  39,  65. 

t  Beli  i3.,represeiitecl  as  the  father  of  the  brave  CasihtUammSt  and  iTie  son  of 
Manhogan,  radiated  with  splendour.  But  Beli  and  Prydain  are  titles  of  the 
Helio-arkite  divinity.  See  Append.  No.  11,  where  he  is  addressed  by  both 
tliese  names, 

$  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  9,  11,  66,  78. 


As  to  these  dragons,  the  reader  has  seen  that  they  were 
harnessed  in  the  car  of  the  British,  as  well  as  of  the  Greek 
Ceres:  ani  more  than  this,  their  general  connexion  with 
solar  superstition  is  acknowledged  by  the  Welsh  them- 
selves:* hence  it  appears,  that  the  old  ladi/,  wbo  wandered 
from  the  mystic  vale  in  Cornwall,  to  the  regions  of  Snowdon, 
imported  a  mixture  of  Arhite  and  Sabian  idolatry. 

But  let  us  come  to  the  last  deposit ,  of  the  rnystical  sow, 
namely,  the  kitten,  which  was  laid  under  the  black  stone,  . 
that  is,  in  a  cell,  or  Kistvaen,  in  Arvon,  from  whence  the 
mystagogue  cast  it  into  the  Menai.     It  was  taken  up  out 
of  this  .strait,  or  river,  and  became  the  Paliic  cat  of  Mona. 

Isis,  the  Arkite  goddess,  was  sometimes  represented  un- 
der the  figure  of  a  cat,  because  that  animal,  by  the  volun- 
tary dilatation  and  contraction  of  the  pupils  of  its  eyes, 
imitates  the  phases  of  the  moon,  which  was  also  a  symbol 
of  Isis:  and  Mr.  Bryant  thinks,  that  the  very  names  of 
Menai  and  Mona  have  a  pointed  reference  to  the  worship  of 
the  lunar  Arkite  goddess. 

But  Paiuc  cat  is  spoken  of  as  a  large  and  fierce  creature, 
of  the  feline  kind.  Mr.  Owen  thinks  it  was  a  ti/ger.  It  is 
often  mentioned,  as  one  of  the  molestations  of  Mona;  and 
as  all  the  symbols  imported  by  the  mystical  sow,  were 
regarded  as  pernicious  innovations,  by  those  who  adhered 
to  the  primitive  religion  of  their  country,  the  destroying  of 

•  Thus  Mr.   Owen,  in  his  Dictionary,    explains  the   word^"  braig,    a 

**  geiierative  prmcipU,  or  procrsator;  a  fiery  serpent;  atiragon;  tho  supreme, 
"  Dreigiau,  silent  lightnings.  In  tlie  mythology  of  the  priinilive  world,  the 
"  ^erpent  is  universally  the  symbol  of  the  sun,  under  various  appellations, 
"  but  jof  the  same  import  as  the  Draig,  Mm,  Addm ;  Bel  and  Bil  amonjjst,  Ure 


tills  cat  was  esteemed  a  meritorious  act.  Though  it  is 
described  as  an  animal,  it  seems  to  have  been  only  an  idol, 
and  attended  by  foreign  ministers.  Taliesln  calls  it  Cath 
Vraith,  the  spotted  cat,  and  thus  denounces  its  fate — 

Ys  trabluddir  y  Gath  Vraith 
A'i  hanghy  vieithon  * — 

"  The  spotted  cat  shall  be  disturbed,  together  with  her 
"  men  of  a  foreign  language." 

It  should  seem,  from  another  passage,  to  have  been  a 
symbol  of  the  sun :  for  Taliesin,  who  often  speaks  in  the 
person  and  character  of  that  luminary,  mentions  as  one 
of  his  transfonnations — 

Bum  Cath  Benfrith  ar  driphren-f- 

"  I  have  been  a  cat  with  a  spotted  head,  upon  a  tripod." 

Upon  the  whole,  we  may  suppose  it  to  have  been  the 
figure  of  some  animal  of  the  cat  kirld,  which  was  deemed 
sacred,  either  to  the  Helio-arkite  god,  or  the  Lunar-arkite 
goddess,  or  to  both,  as  it  was  a  male  and  k  female ;%  and 
therefore,  at  all  events,  a  symbol  of  the  mixed  superstition. 

But  as  Coll,  the  guardian  of  the  old  lady,  learned  his 
mystic  lore  from  the  red  giant,  who  resided  in  a  nook  of 
Cormcall,  a  region  which  had  early  intercourse  with  stran- 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  rS. 

t  Ibid.  p.  41. 

\  Cath  Vraith,  and  Catli  Ben  Vrilh. 


gers,  particularly  with  the  PJeanician,  or  red  nation;  as  the 
Britons  had  been  jealous  of  the  mystical  sow,  or  sacred  ship, 
which  introduced  the  symbols  here  enumerated ;  and  as  the 
wolf,  the  eagle,  and  the  cat  are  mentioned  with  disappro- 
bation, as  things  which  proved  injurious  to  those  who 
received  them,  I  conclude  that  these  symbols,  and  the  ido- 
latry which  they  implied,  were  oi  foreign  growth,  and  did 
liot  pertain  to  the  religion  of  the  primitive  British  nation. 

Having  now  dismissed  Coil  and  his  old  lady,  I  proceed 
to  consider  the  history  of  the  third  mighty  swineherd,  who 
is  better  known  to  the  reader  of  English  romance  by  the 
name  of  Sir  Tristram. 

"  The  third  swineherd  was  Trystan,  proclaimer,  the  son 
"  of  Tallwch,  the  overwhelming,  who  kept  the  swine  of 
"  March,  the  horse,  the  son  of  Meirchiawn,  the  Tiorses  of 
"  justice,  whilst  the  swineherd  was  carrying  a  message  to 
"  Essyllt,  spectacle,  to  appoint  an  assignation  with  her. 

"  In  the  mean  time,  Arthur,  March,  Cai,  and  JBedwyr, 
"  went  forth  a,gainst  him  upon  a  depredatory  expedition. 
"  But  they  failed  in  their  design  of  procuring  as  much  as 
"  a  single  pig,  either  by  donation,  by  purchase,  by  strata- 
"  gem,  by  force,  or,  by  stealth.  " 

"  These  were  called  the  mightyswineherds,  because  nei- 
"  ther  stratagem  nor  force  could  extort  from  them  one  of 
"  the  swine  which  were  under  their  care,  ^nd  which  they 


f'  restored,  together  with  the  full  increase  of  the  herd,  to 
<'  their  right  owners."* 

This  story  also  describes  the  meddling  with  some  foreign 
mysteries,  which  had  been  introduced  into  Cornwall,  and 
from  thence  extended  into  other  districts :  but  these  mys- 
teries were  regarded  as  unlawful  and  depraved ;  for  the  in- 
tercourse of  Trystaij  with  his  mistress,  Essyllt,  was  both 
adulterous  and  incestuous.  As  I  have  hinted  above,  it  seems 
to  allude  to  the  incorporation  of  the  primitive  religion  of 
the  Britons  with  the  rites  of  the  Phaniciafi  sow. 

By  the  character  of  Tristan,  we  are  to  understand,  as 
his  name  import;s,  a  herald  of  mysteries :  and  hence  a  re- 
presentative of  the  mystical  system,  which  prevailed  at  a 
certain  period,  or  in  a  certain  state  of  the  British  hie- 

The  memorials  of  this  character  in  the  mythological 
Triads,  are  many  and  various. 

We  are  told,  that  of  the  three  heralds  of  the  island  of 
Britain,  the  first  was  Greidiawl,  the  ardent,  or,  as  he  is 
otherwise  called,  Grpgon  Gwron,  the  severely  energetic,  he- 
rald of  Envael,  the  acquisition  of  life,  the  son  of  Adran, 
second  distribution.  The  second  herald  was  Gwair  Gwrhyd-. 
mzor,  renovation  of  great  energy:  and  the  third  was  Trystan, 
,the  proclaimer,  the  son  of  Tallwch,  the  overwhelming — that 
is,  the  deluge.  Arid  it  is  added,  that  such  was  the  privilege 
of  these  heraWs,  that  nonecould  resist  their  authority  ii^ 
the  island  of  Britain,  without  becoming  outlaws.f 

■ ^ ^ , r-T— It 

*  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  6,  ;?0,  72,  77,  • 

t  Ibid,  p.  5,  63,  77, 


The  very  names  and  connexions  of  these  heralds  declare, 
that  eadh  of  their  modes  was  Arkite,  or  referable  to  the  his- 
tory of  the  deluge,  whatever  they,  may  have  included  be- 
sides;  and  their  autliority  is  precisely  the  same  which  Caesar 
assigns. to  the  Druidical  chair. 

We  have,  in  the  next  place,  some  intimation  of  the 
dignity  with  which  these  characters  supported  their 
high  office,  when  we  are  told,  that  of  the  three  diademed 
chiefs  of  the  island  of  Britain,  the  first  was  Huail,  vice- 
gerent of  Hu,  the  son  of  Caw,  the  inclosure,  also  called 
Gwair,  renovation,  the  son  of.  Gwestyl,  the  great  tempest. 
The  second  was  Cai,  association,  the  son  of  Cynyn  Cov, 
the  origin  of  memorial,  surnamed  Cainvarvog,  or  with  the 
splendid  beard:  and  the  third  was  Trystan,  the  son  of 
Tallwch,  And  Bedwyr,  Phallus,  the  son  of  Pedrog,  the 
quadrangle,  wore  his  diadem,  as  presiding  over  the  three.*  ^ 

After  this,  we  are  informed  of  the  constancy  and  resolu- 
tion with  which  the  authority  and  dignity  of  these  cha- 
racters were  asserted.  For  Eiddilic  Corr,  the  same  as  Coll; 
Gwair  ^A  Trystan,  were  the  three  determined  personages, 
whom  no  one  could  divert  from  their  purpose.-j- 

Trystan  is  again  introduced  as  hierophant ;  for  the  three 
knights,  who  had  the  conducting  of  mysteries  in  the  court 
of  the  mythological  Arthur,  were  Menu,  son  of  Teirg^ 
waedd,  or  the  three  loud  calls,  Trystan,  the  son  of  Tallwch, 
fl,nd  Cai,  the  son  of  Cynyn,  with  the  splendid  beard.  J 

*  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  5, 
t  +  Ibid.  p.  19,  69, 

}  Ibi4.  p.  go. 

442  _ 

From  these  particulars  it  may  be  collected,  that  Trystan 
is  a  personification  of  the  great  moving  power,  in  the  reli- 
gious establishment  of  the  Britons,  during  a  certain  period 
of  their  history:  and  hence  it  niay  be  inferred,  that  his 
amorous  intercourse  with  Essyllt,  spectacle,  the  wife,  other- 
wise called  the  daughter,  of  March,  horse,  the  son  of  Meir- 
fhiawn,  his  uncle,*  is  to  be  imderstood  in  a  mystical  sense. 

We  also  read  of  Trystan,  the  son  of  this  March,  who 
seems  to  be  the  same  personage,  and  is  ranked  with  iJ/ty- 
hawt  eil  Morgant,  the  son  of  Adras,  and  Dalldav,  mysta- 
gogue,  the  son  of  Cynin  Cot),  principle  of  memorial,  as  a 
compeer  in  the  court  of  the  mythological  Arthur.f 

Such  being  the  mystical  character  of  Trystan,  let  us  now 
look  for  the  owner  of  the  herd  which  he  superintended, 
and  the  husband  or  father  of  Essyllt,  his  beautiful  pa- 

This  personage  was  a  prince  of  some  part  of  Cornwall ; 
and  his  singular  name  Horse,  the  son  of  the  horses  of  jus- 
tice, must  undoubtedly  be  referred  to  the  Hippos,  or  horse 
of  the  ancient  mythologists,  which  Mr.  Bryant  proves  to 
have  meant  the  ark.  He  imputes  the  name,  as  usual,  to  an 
error  of  the  Greeks :  but  it  is  strange,  that  these  errorsr 
sliould  be  constantly  and  accurately  translated  into  the  lan- 
guage of  our  British  forefathers. 

But  let  us  hear  our  learned  author. 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  13,  73. 
+  Ibid.  p.  19s  n,  80. 


"  I  cannot  help  surmising,  that  the  horse  of  Neptune 
"  was  a  mistaken  emblem;  and  that  the  ancierits,  in  the 
"  original  history,  did  not  refer  to  that  animal.  What  the 
"  "lOTBros  alluded  to  in  the  early  mythology,  was  certainly  a 
"  Jloat,  or  ^hip ;  the  same  as  the  Ceto  (the  ark) :  for,  in 
"  the  first  place,  the  Ceto  was  -denominated  Hippos  : 
"  'iOTiro»,  TOK  fisyat  fia^«{;io»  ix^vt,  i.  e.  the  Ccto,  or  whale.  Se- 
"  condly,  it  is  remarkable,  that  the  Hippos  was  certainly 
"  called  2!£»ipios  xai  sku^mj.*  I  therefore  cannot  help  think- 
"  ing,  that  the  supposed  horse  of  Neptune,  as  it  has  so 
"  manifest  a  relation  to  the  Ceto  and  the  Scyphus,  mnst 
"  have  been  an  emblem  of  the  like  purport;  and  that  it 
"  had,  originally,  a  reference  to  the  same  history,  to  which 
"  the  Scyphus  and  Ceto  related  (that  is,  the  ark).  The 
"  fable  of  the  horse  certainly  arose  from  a  misprision  of 
"  terms,  though  the  mistake  be  as  old  as  Homer.  The 
"  goddess  Hippa  is  the  same  as  Hippos,  and  relates  to  the 
"  same  history.  Therfe  were  many,  symbols  of  an  horse. 
"  The  history  of  Pegasus,  the  winged  horse,  is  probably 
"  of  the  same  purport.  So  does  Palsephatus,  a  judicious 
"  writer,  interpret  it — "om/a*  J'  tii/  tb  imT^na,  ntiyajo?.  This  Hip- 
"  pos  was,  in  consequence,  said  to  have  been  the  offspring 
"  of  Poseidon  and  'Da-mater."-^ 

The  March,  or  horse  of  the  British  mythoIpgists>  must  evi- 
dently be  referred  to  the  same  Arkite  history,  which  is  here 
intimated  by  Mr.  Bryant :  and  not  only  so,  but  also,  as  I 
shall  prove  in  the  course  of  this  section,  the  horse  was, 
amongst  our  ancestors,  a  favourite  symbol  of  a  sacred 

*  Schol.  in  Lycoph.  V.  766; 
+  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  408. 


The  mystical  Prince  of  Cornwall  is  styled  the  son  of  the 
horses  of  justice;  probably,  with  allusion  to  the  just  patri- 
arch :  and,  in  order  the  more  forcibly  to  mark  his  cha- 
racter, he  is  represented  as  a  master  of  ships,  and,  in  this 
capacity,  classed  with  Gwenwynwyn,  thrice  fair,  the  son 
of  Nav,  the  lord,  a  title  of  the  Diluvian  patriarch ;  and 
with  Geraint  ab  Erbin,  vessel  of  the  high  chiefs.* 

And  as  March  was  a  mystical  character,  we  must  also 
search  the  Bardic  pedigree  for  the  lady,  whetherhis  wife 
or  his  daughter,  of  whom  Trystan  was  so  greatly  ena- 

We  are  told,  that  the  three  unchaste  matroijs,  of  Drui- 
dical  mystery,  were  daughters  of  one  father,  namely,  Cut 
Vanawyd  Frydain,  which  implies,  the  person  occupying  the 
narrow  spot,  in  the  waters  of  Britain.  This  very  title  has 
an  aspect  to  Arkite  mystery.  The  Diluvian  god,  or  sacred 
bull,  had  his  residence  in  such  a  spot.f 

The  first  of  these  three  sisters  was  Essyllt,  spectacle,  sur- 
named  Vyngwen,  or  with  the  white  mane,  the  concubine  of 
Trystan,  the  herald,  the  son  of  Tallzech,  the  deluge. 

The  second  was  Penarwen,  the  lady  with  the  splendid 
head,  the  wife  of  Owen,  the  son  of  Urien.+ 

*  W.  Archaiol.  Y-  II.  p.  5,  13,  68. 

There  was  a  prince  called  Geraint  ah  Erhin,  ia  the  heginning  of  the  sixth 
centiery :  but  tlie  name  itself  is  boMowed  from  mythology,  and  the  Geraint  gf 
the  Welsh  tales  is  a  mystical  character, — 

See  Ed.  Llwyd's  Archa;ol.  p.  265. 

+  See  the  second  section  of  this  Essay, 

%  The  character  assigned  to  this  prince  in  the  Welsh  tales  is  mythologicsi}. 


Th^  thil'd  sister  was  Bun,  the  maid  Kopti,  the  wife  of  the 

It  is  pretty  clear,  that  these  three  daughters  of  Ma- 
nazoyd,  refer  to  three  mystical  modes  of  the  same  origin, 
and  allArkite:  and, I  think,  the  reason  why  they  are  de-' 
scribed  as  unchaste,  was,  either  because  they  were  commu- 
nicated to  persons  of  different  nations,  or  because  they  in- 
chided  some  foreign  and  adulterated  rites,  which  had  not 
been  acknowledged  by  the  more  simple  religion  of.  the 
primitive  Bards. 

Our  present  business  is  only  with  Essyllt,  whose  name 
Spectacle,  or  subject  of  steady  contemplation,  manifestly  im- 
plies some  mystical  exhibition.  And  as  she  was  the  wife  of 
the  Imrse,  so  she  is  described  as  having  a  white  mane.  She 
was,  therefore,  a  mare ;  but  the  aspirant,  Taliesin,  saw  the 
British  Ceres  in  the  form  of  a  proud  and  wanton  mare; 
Mr.  Bryant  also  acknowledges  Hippa,  the  mare,  as  one  of 
the  most  ancient  goddesses  of  the  gentile  world,  and  parti- 
cularly informs  us,  that  the  Arkite  Ceres  was  distinguished 
by  that  title,  and  that  even  hex  priestesses  were  called  Hip- 
pai,  mai-es.f 

He  seems  to  have  occupied  a  distinguished  place  in  the  mystical  drama. — See 
the  story  told  of  him  and  the  lady  of  the  fountain. 

In  the  red  book  of  Jesus  College,  Oxford,  it  is  mentioned  by  Ed.  Llwyd. 
Archa;ol.  p.  gei). 

«  W.  Arehaiol.  V.  II.  p.  14.  73. 

Ida,  the  Northumbrian  King,  is  supposed  to  be  described,  tinder  the  name 
of  Flamebearet.  If  such  be  the  meaning  of  the  term  in  this  passage,  t  should 
conceive  that  Bun  may  allude  to  the  mysteries  of  Jaxs^  which  Tacitus '  re- 
marked amongst  the  ancient  Germans,  and  whicl\.this  pagan  prince  Kiay  haVe 
celebrated  in  Britain. 

t  Apalysis,  V.  II.  p,  27-,  &c. ' 


.  Hence  we  perceive,  that  it  was  of  this  goddess  and  her 
sacred  rites,  that  our  British  Herald  and  Mystagogue  was 
so  deeply  enamoured :  and  that  the  herd,  which  he  super- 
intended, consisted  of  her  priests  and  votaries. 

Here  it  may  be  remarked,  that  the  character  of  Trystan 
seems  to  refer  to  a  period  somewhat  more  recent  than  that 
of  Coll :  for  the  former  was  entrusted  with  the  care  of  the 
mystical  sow,  before  she  had  farrowed,  or  produced  vataries 
npon  British  ground :  but  here,  the  pigs  are  already  pro- 
duced and  multiplied,  though  they  are  still  objects  of  per- 
secution, to  the  mystical  Arthur  and  his  heroes,  or  the 
hierarchy  of  the  native  Britons.  It  may  also  deserve  notice, 
that  Coll  is  uniformly  described  as  a  foreigner,  who  intro- 
duced something  into  Britain,  but  Trystan  was  a  natiVe, 
and  of  some  mystical  eminence,  before  he  tampered  witb 
the  swine,  or  the  consort  of  the  Cornish  horse. 

The  notices  which  the  triads  have  preserved,  upon  the 
subject  of  the  celebrated  Trystan,  are  undoubtedly,  ab- 
stracts of  some  old  mystical  tales,  which  were  current 
amongst  the  early  Britons.  And  although  the  tales  which 
more  immediately  regarded  the  character  now  before  us, 
have  disappeared  in  the  Welsh  language,  it  is  evident  ihat 
they  must  have  existed,  and  that  they  formed  the  basis  of 
certain  romantic  histories,  of  the  famous  knight.  Sir  Tris- 
tram,  which  are  still  extant  in  French  and  Ejiglish. 

Of  these,  the  Metrical  Romance,  written  by  Thomas,  of 
Mrcilioune,  and  lately  published  by  Mr.  Scott,  from  the 


Auchinleck  MS.  is  worthy  of  special  notice,  as  having  pre- 
served much  genuine  British  mythology,  though  blended 
with  the  fanciful  embellishments  of  the  thirteenth  century. 
I  shall,  therefore,  remark  a  few  pa;rticulars  of  the  stbry. 

This  author  changes  the  name  of  Trystan,  the  proclaimer, 
into  Tristrem,  and  ^fem  Trist,  which  in  the  AVelsh  lan- 
guage implies  a  ®o^/m/  countenance ;  a  designation  too  whim- 
.sical  to  have  escaped  the  notice  of  the  humourous  Cer- 
vantes, who  probably  had  seen  this  romance  in  French  or 

The  father  of  Sir  Tristrem  is  here  called  Rouland,  which 
seems  to  be  a  mere  French  translation  of  his  British  name 
Tallwch,  and  the  Irish  Tuileach,  a  rolling  or  overwhelming 

His  mother  is  Blanche  Flow,  the  white fiower,  the  sister 
of  King  Mark,  who  is  the  March  or  horse  of  the  Triads. 
This  lady  is  certainly  the  lovely  Flur  of  British  mythology, 
of  whom  the  illustrious  Cassivellaunus  was  so  deeply  ena- 
moured, that  he  undertook  an  expedition  into  Gaul,  at- 
tended by  the  gods  of  Britain,  in  order  to  redress  her 
wrongs ;  and  by  this  act,  provoked  the  resentment  of  Julius 

The  character  of  Flur  imports  that  token,  or  pledge  of 
union,    amongst    th^  "professors   6f  Druidism  vrbich    in- 

*  W.  Archaiol.  V.  11.  p.  3.  10.  13.  60. 

Caswallon,  the  son  of  Beli  was  attended  by  Gwenviynwyn,  thrice  fair,  and 
Cwanar,  the  ruler,  who  were  sons  of  Lli-aws,  impeller  rf  the  icaiies,  son  of 
■Nwyvre,  the  firmament,  by  Arianrhod,  goddess  of  the  siijie^  wheel  (the  Iti») 
daughter  of  Beli,  th«  sun. 


duced  the  Britons  to  assist  their  brethern  of  Gaul,  as  re- 
lated by  Caesar,  and  thus  furnished  that  great  commander 
with  a  pretext  for  the  invasion  of  this  Island. 

The  emblematical  Fliir  or  flower,  which  this  fraternity 
exhibited,  was,  I  imagine,  that  of  the  white  trefoil  or 
shamrock.  This  was  a  sacred  plant  amongst  the  Bards,* 
displaying  the  mysterious  three  in  one,  the  great  secret  in- 
culcated by  the  vgry  form  of  their  Triads  and  Tribanau. 
Hence  we  are  told,  that  wherever  their  goddess  Olwen, 
the  great  mother)  trod  upon  the  ground,  four  white  tre- 
foils immediately  sprung  up.-f- 

Flur  is  the  daughter  of  Mygnacli,  a  mystical  character, 
the  son  of  Mydnaw,  the  mover  of  the  ship.  In  a  dialogue 
which  he  holds  with  Taliesin,  he  comes  forward  like  Arawtf, 
the  king  of  the  deep,  with  his  white  dogs,  or  ministering 
Druids ;  his  residence  is  in  Caer  Seen,  in  the  mystic  island, 
and  tile  chief  of  the  Bards  reveres  his  Gorsedd  or  throne,  ± 

By  the  birth  of  Sir  Tristrem,  from  the  rolling  flood,  and 
the  symbol  of  union,  the  original  narrator  seems  to  have 
implied,  that  he  was  a  legitimate  son  of  the  Arkite 
religion.  /■ 

After  the  untimely  death  of  these,  his  natural  parents, 

•  See  the  poem  called  the  Chan  nf  Taliesin- 

Every  leaf  of  this  plant  is  naturally  impressed  with  a  pale  figure  of  a  crescents 
which  was  also  a  sacved  symbol  amongst  the  Druids,  and  other  heathens. 

+  Owen's  Cam.  Biog,  V.  Olwen. 

From  MoiU,  the  name  of  this  plant,  we  may  derive  Cy-vaill,  an  associate— 
gne  who  mutually  exhibits  the  Maill. 

i  Appendix,  No.  8. 


oui-  young  hero  is  committed  to  th^  care  of  a  prince, 
named  Rohand,  who  is  a  mortal  enemy  of  Duke  Morgan, 
son  of  the  sea,  a  neighbouring  potentate.  Both  these  per- 
sonages are  found  in  the  Triads;  hut  with  characters  some- 
what differently  drawn.  Morgan,  sur-named  Mwynvawr, 
or  most  courteous,  the  son  of  Adras  (Adraste  ?)  was  one  of 
the  royal  knights  in  the  court  of  the  mythological  Arthur.* 
And  the  Rohand  of  the  tale,  is  Rhyhawd,  the  man  of  ex 
cess,  styled  Eil  Morgant,  the  successor  of  Morgant ;  and 
this  character,  as  his  name  implies,  carried  his  mytical  loie 
beyond  legitimate  bounds.  The  triads  rank  him  with 
Dalldav,  Mystagogue  and  March,  the  horse,  as  a  compeer, 
in  the  court  of  the  same  Arthur. 

He  is  also  styled  Overvardd,  or  one  who  corrupted  the 
Bardic  system  with  a  mixture  of  foreign  fable.  This  is 
the  delineation  of  a  Hierophant,  who  made  some  innovation 
in  the  Druidical  mode.- 


This  Rohand,  anxious  for  the  safety  of  his  charge,  di- 
rected his  wife  to  feign  a  second  jlelivery,  adopted  the  in- 
fant as  his  son,  and  called  him  by  the  inverted  name  of 
Trem  Trist.  He  took  the  greatest  care  of  his  education, 
and  had  him  instructed  in  all  the  fashionable  arts  and  sci 
ences,  amongst  which,  the  mysteries  of  hunting  are  emi* 
nently  discriminated. 

Under  this  allegory,  wllich  is  precisely  in  the  style  of  the 
British  tales,  we  have  the  history  of  Tristrem's  initiation 
into  the  mongrel  rites  of  Rhyhawd. — Thus  the  aspirant, 
Taliesin,  was  bom  again  of  Ceridwen,  and  instructed  in 
her  mystical  hall ;  and  thus  the  celebration  of  mysteries  is 

G  G 

*  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II,  p,  7i.    Triad,  118. 


represented  in  the  story  of  Pwyll,  under  the  inoage  of  hunt- 
ing :  but  the  new  lore,  communicated  to  Tristreai,  differed 
from  that  of  his  parents,  therefore  his  name  was  i/jccrf erf. 

We  are  afterwards  told  of  a  strange  ship,  which  appeared 
upon  the  coast  of  Cornwall.  The  English  translator,  a 
rhymer  of  the  thirteenth  century,  naturaUjr  qalls  it  Nor- 
wegian, hut  as  the  story  is  mythological,  the  ship  must 
have  belonged  to  a  people  who  visited  Cornwall,  during 
the  early  ages  of  mythology.  This  vessel  was  freighted 
with  hawks,  which  Tristrem  won  at  chess,  and  distributed 
amongst  his  friends.  Here  it  may  be  remarked,  that  no 
ship  ever  sailed  with  such  a  cargo ;  but  the  British  Ceres 
transformed  herself  into  a  hawk ;  *  and  this  bird  was  a  sa- 
cred symbol  in  Eastern  mythology.  It  occurs  frequently 
in  Egyptian  sculpture,  as  the  favourite  representative  of 

Tristiem  is  now  conducted  to  the  court  of  Cornwall, 
and  by  means  of  a  ring,  the  glain,  or  insigne  of  a  Druid, 
which  he  had  received  of  his  mother,  is  recognized  as  the 
nephew  of  March,  knighted,  or  admitted  to  the  dignities  of 
the  Bardic  order ;  and  advanced  to  the  command  of  an 
army,  or  made  high  priest,  having  fifteen  attendant  knights 
assigned  to  him,  all  of  them  bearing  boards  heads. — The 
meaning  of  this  allegory  is  evidently  the  same  as  that  of 
the  Triads,  which  represent  him  as  a  g7'eat  swine  herd. 

Invested  with  this  power,  Sir  Tristrem  sallies  forth,  to 
attack  Duke  Morgan,  the  president  of,  the  older  system  of 
Druidism ;  kills  his  adversary,  and  confers  his  conquered 
dominions   upon   Rohand,.or  Khyhawd,   the  corrupter  of 

*  Hones  Toiiesm. 


Bai'dic  mystery.     Hence  the  Triads  represent  Rhyhawd 
as  Eil  Morgan,  or  successor  of  Morgan, 

We  next  hear  of  our  hero's  combat  with  a  champion  of 
Ireland,  whom  he  kills  in  the  field:  but  at  the  same  time, 
he  is  pierced  with  a  poisonous  weapon.  The  wound  proving 
incurable,  renders  his  person  so  disgusting,  that  he  with- 
draws from  society,  ^n  mere  despair  he  goes  on  board  a 
ship,  which  he  commits  to  the  mercy  of  the  wind  and 
waves;  but  such  is  his  good  fortuncj  that  after  tossing 
about  for  some  time,  he  finds  himself  safe  arrived  in  the 
port  of  Dublin.  Here  again,  I  suspect  the  rhymer  has 
modernized  the  geography  of  his  tale.  The  Queen  of  the 
country,  however,  being  admirably  skilled  in  medicine, 
heals  the  wound  of  our  hero.     He  is  called  to  court. 

The  king's  daughter,  the  beautiful  Ysonde,  the  Essyllt, 
or  Spectacle  of  the  Triads,  is  committed  to  his  care  as  a 
pupil,  and  instructed  in  music  and  poetry,  aud  in  every  be- 
coming branch  of  his  mystic  lore. 

Upon  his  return  to  Cornwall,  Sir  Tristrem  reports  the 
beauty  and  accomplishments  of  his  fair  pupil  to  King  Mark, 
who  conceives  a  violent  passion  for  the  princess,  and  com- 
missions his  nephew  to  return  to  Ireland  in  his  name,  and 
demand  her  in  marriage. 

Through  a  series  of  romantic  adventures,  the  hero  of 
Cornwall  arrives  at  the  accomplishment  of  his  commission. 
The  princess  is  entrusted  to  his  care ;  and  they  set  sail. 

At  their  departure,  the  queen  mother,  anxious  to  se- 
cure the  happiness  of  the  maiTied  couple,  prepared  and 

o  G  2 


delivered  to  Brcngwain,  Ysonde's  favourite  damsel,  a  <&^'nft 
of  might,  with  directions,  that  it  should  be  divided  between 
the  bride  and  bride-groOm,  on  the  wedding  evening.  But 
fortune  decided  otherwise.  During  a  contrary  wind,  when 
Tristreni  was  faint  with  heat  and  thirst  from  the  fatigue  of 
rowing,  Ysonde  called  for  some  liquor  to  refresh  him,  and 
Brengwain,  inadvertently  brought  the  fatal  drink  of  might,  of 
which  Tristrem  and  Ysonde  having  partaken,  they  inbibed 
the  sudden!  and  resistless  passion,  which  death  alone  could 
overcome.  Even  a  dog,  named  Ilodain,  who  licked  the 
cup  after  it  was  set  down,,  felt  its  invincible  power,  and 
became  their  inseparable  companion. 

The  drink  of  might  which  is  here  mentioned,  must  have 
been  the  K.vtiim,  or  mystical  potion  of  Ceres,  agreeing  with 
the  preparation  of  the  ^acred  caiddron  of  Ceridwen,  and 
with  the  wine  and  bragget  of  the  Welsh  Bards,  which  was 
administered  to  the  aspirants  upon  theiradmission  to  the 
mysteries ;  and  hence  represented,  as  communicating  all 
the  benefits  of  initiation.  Brengwain  was  certainly  the 
Bronwen,  or  Proserpine  of  the  Britons,  whom  Bran,  the 
Haven  had  carried  into  Ireland,  along  with  the  mystical 
cauldron,  and  espoused  to  a  sovereign  of  that  country,  dis- 
tinguished by  the  remarkable  name  of  Math-olwch,  form  of 

Hoda'.n,  corn  shooting  into  the  ear,  is  the  attribute  of 
Ceres,  whose  priests  Taliesin  styles  Hodigion,  bearers  of 
ears  qf  corn. 

The  Hodain  of  this  tale  seems  to  have  been  one  of  those 
priests,  though  he  is  described  as  a  do^ :  for  heathen  priests 
M-ere  called  KfH! ;  the  British  Ceres  transformed  herself  into 


a  bitch;  and  in  the  tale  of  Fwyll,  the  priesthood  are  re- 
presented under  the  character  of  white  dogs. 

Ysonde,  notwithstanding  her  intrigue  with  Sir  Tristrem, 
becomes  the  Queen  of  Cornwall :  but  not  long  afterwards, 
an  Irish  nobleman,  her  old  admirer,  arrives  at  the  court  of 
Mark,  in  the  disguise  of  a  minstrel,  obtains  possession  of 
her  person,  and  conveys  her  into  his  ship.  I  apprehend  the 
iniport  of  this  incident  to  be,  that  the  Belgte,  or  other 
inhabitants  of  ancient  Ireland,  were  initiated  into  the  mys- 
tical rites  which  prevailed  in  Cornwall. 

But  Sir  Tristrem  recovers  the  fair  Ysonde,  and  restores 
her  to  the  king,  taking  care,  however,  to  devise  means  of 
keeping  up  a  private  intercourse  with  her.  One  of  the 
stratagems  to  which  he  had  recourse  for  this  purpose,  is 
very  remarkable.  Being  separated  from  his  mistress,  he 
contrived  to  correspond  with  her  by  means  of  small  bits  of 
wood,  on  which  were  engraved  secret  characters,  and  which 
were  floated  down  a  small  stream,  which  ran  through  the 
orchard  of  Ysonde's  country  seat. 

This  is  a  clear  allusion  to  the  practice  of  sortilege,  by 
which  the  Druids  consulted  their  gods. 

The  bits  of  wood  were  the  .Coelbreni,  omen-sticks,  or  points 
of  sprigs,  so  often  mentioned  by  the  Bards ;  or  the  lots,  cut 
into  tallies  out  of  the  shoot  of  &  fruit-bearing  tree,  and  dis- 
tinguished by  mysterious  characters,  as  Tacitus  has  accu- 
rately described  them.  As  to  the  orchard,  we  may  either 
interpret  it  the  Druidical  grove,  in  which  those  fruit-bearing 
trees  must  have  been  cultivated,  or  else  we  may  I'estrain  the 
meaning  to  the  lots  themselves,  which  were  cut  out  of  that 
grove.    And  it  is  observable,  that  the  hierophant,  Merddin 


the  Caledonian,  describes  the  whole  circle  of  Druidical 
mysticism,  under  the  allegory  of  an  orchard,  containing 
147  fruit-bearing  trees,  which  were  perfect  tailies  with  each 

Sir  Tristrem,  after  this,  is  made  high  constable,  or,  as  the 
Triads  express  it,  Priv  Hud,  president  of  mystery:  and,  as 
a  privilege  annexed  to  this  office,  sleeps  in  the  queen's 
apartment.  Here  he  takes  some  unwarrantable  liberties ;  in 
consequence  of  which,  he  is  banished  the  court  of  Corn- 
wall, and  retires  into  Wales,  where  he  undertakes  the  de- 
fence of  Triamour,  king  of  the  country,  against  the  usur- 
pations of  the  giant  Urgan,  whom  he  kills  in  single 
combat.  Triamour  bestows  the  sovereignty  of  Wales  upon 
his  protector,  together  with  a  little  dog,  which  was  spotted 
with  red,  blue,  and  green;  but  our  hero  immediately  restores 
the  crown  to  Blanche  Flour,  the  king's  daughter,  and  sends 
the  dog  as  a  present  to  Ysonde. 

Triamour  seems  to  be  the  Triathm^r  of  the  Irish,  in 
which  the  th  are  not  audible.  And  the  title  implies  a  great 
king,  hog,  sow,  wave,  or  hill:*  so  that  it  is  a  term  of  suffi- 
cient mystical  latitude,  to  denote  either  the  president  of  the 
Welsh  Druids,  the  chief  object  of  their  superstition,  or 
liieir  elevated  place  of  worship. 

TJrgan  is,  probably,  the  Gwrgi  of  the  Triads,  a  mystical 
cannibal ;  that  is,  a  priest,  or  an  idol,  who  delighted  in 
human  sacrifices.    And  here  it  may  be  remarked,  that  the 

•  Tbis  ambiguity  arises  fiom  a  general  principle,  wliicli  discovers  itself  in 
every  page  of  the  Irish  vocabulary ;  namely,  the  appropriating  of  the  same 
term  to  every  objecl  which  presents  the  same  general  idea ;  and  the  primary 
and  abstract  meaning  of  Triath  happens  to  be,  biilldness,  eminence,  or 


character  of  a,  mythological  giant,  for  the  ftiost  part,  im- 
plies the  idea  of  impielif  or  heterodoxy.  Hence  we  find, 
that  the  courteous  knight  of  one  tale,  is  not  unfrequently 
the  atrocious  giant  of  another.  Such  circumstances  comply 
with  the  various  opinions  of  the  several  narrators. 

Tristrem's  obtaining  and  immediately  resigning  the  so- 
vereignty of  Wales,  may  imply,  that  his  system  was  intro- 
duced into  that  country,  but  not  established  there.  And  it 
is  observable,  that  the  daughter  of  Triamour,  as  well  as  the 
mother  of  the  Cornish  champion,  was  named  Blanche 
Flour,  that  is,  the  white  trefoil,  or  shamrock,  the  mystical 
pledge  of  union. 

The  little  dog  was  a  priest;  and  his  spots  of  red,  blue, 
and  green,  seem  to  import  those  insignia,  called  Gleiniau, 
v/hich  were  of  the  colours  here  specified. 

"  These  Gemma.  Angmnce  are  small  glass  amulets,  com- 
"  monly  about  as  wide  as  our  finger-rings,  but  much 
"  thicker ;  of  a  gr^en  coloui-,  usually,  though  some  of  them 
"  are  blue,  and  others  curiously  waved  with  blue,  red,  and 
«  white."* 

Mr.  Owen  says,  they  were  worn  by  the  different  orders 
of  Bards,  each  having  his  appropriate  colour.  The  blue 
ones  belonged  to  the  presiding  Bards,  the  white  to  the 
Druids,  the  green  to  the  Ovates,  and  the  three  colours 
blended,  to  the  disciples.f  It  should  seem,  then,  that  this 
party-coloured  dog  was  either  a  disciple,  or  a  graduate,  in  the 
several  orders. 

*  Gibson's  Camden,  Col.  815. 
+  Owen's  Diet.    V.  Clam, 


Tristrem,  upon  his' return  to  GornVall,  renews  his  inti- . 
macy  with  the  queen ;  in  consequence  of  which,  they  are 
both  banished  the  court-  The  lovers  retire  into  a  forest, 
where  they  discover  a  cavern,  that  had  been  constructed  in 
old  time  by  the  giants.  Here  they  reside,-  and  subsist- upon 
the  venison  taken  by  their  mystical  dogs.  The  king  having 
surprised  them,  when  asleep,  in  this  cavern,  with  a  drazen 
sword  between  them,  is  persuaded  of  their  innocency,  and 
restores  them  both  into  favour,     ^ 

lihis  forest  was  the  Druidical  grove;  the  cavern,  a  sacred 
cell,  which  had  been  con|tructed  by  the  giants,  or  profes- 
sors of  a  different  mode ;  the  dogs  were  the  priests ;  the 
deer  their  noviciates;  and  the  sword,  that  weapon  which 
was  drawn  against  the  irregular  disciple,  and  religiously 
sheathed  again  in  the  solemn  meetings  of  the  Bards,  upon 
the  stone  which  covered  the  sacred  cell.* 

Our  unfortunate  hero  again  falling  into  disgrace,  upon 
the  score  of  his  old  offence,  is  obliged  to  fly.  Having  tra- 
versed several  countries,  he  enters,  at  last,-  into  the  service 
of  Florentin— some  relation  of  Flur — Duke  of  Brittany, 
who  had  a  daughter,  named  Ysonde,  more  chaste,  and 
scarcely  less  beautiful  than  the  beloved  Queen  of  Cornwall. 
Tristrem  marries  this  princess;  but  his  ring,  or  sacred 
amulet,  having  reminded  him  of  his  former  attachment,  he 
treats  his  lovely  bride  with  absolute  neglect. 

This  Armotican  Ysonde,  Essyllt,  or  spectacle,  presents  a 
tradition  of  some  more  simple  religious  mysteries,  which 
anciently  prevailed  in  Gaul,  but  which  did  not  satisfy  the 

-  •  Sec  Appendix,  No,  3,  aail  Owen's  Diet     V.  Cffinlectf. 


debauched  taste  of  the  Cornish  hierophant;  and  the  next 
incident  gives  us  a  hint  of  the  particular  defect  which  he 
found  in  it. 

As  a  nuptial  present,  Tristrem  had  received  a  tract  of 
country  immediately  adjoining  the  territories  of  a  ferocious 
giant,  named  Beliagog:  but  this  was  accompanied  with  a 
strict  injunction  from  Florentin,  that  he  should  abstain 
from  hunting-^celebrating  his  mysteries^ — upon  the  lands  of 
that  monster,  who  was  brother  to  Morgan,  Urgan,  and 
Moraunt.  The  champion  of  Cornwall,  regardless  of  this 
injunction,  hunts  upon  the  lands  of  Beliagog,  encounters 
the  giant  in  person,  disables  him  in  combat,  and  makes  him 
his  vassal 

As  Beli  Was  a  name  of  the  sun,  so  I  think  Beliagog  may 
imply,  what  would  be  expressed  in  AVelsh,  Beli  a  gwg,  the 
severe  or  frowning  Beli ;  the  Belenus  of  the  more  recent 
Druids  of  Armorica,  whom  Ausonius  expressly  identifies 
with  Phcebus,  or  Apollo.  So  that  the  giant,  so  greatly 
abhorred  by  the  primitive  hierophants  of  Brittany,  though 
connected  with  the  Cornish  superstition,  was  the  solar  di- 
vinity. And  it  is  observable  throughout  the  Jriads,  and 
the  mythological  tales,  that  whenever  the  corruption  of 
Druidism  is  described,  there  is  always  some  allusion  to  the 
solar  worship,  or  to  those  symbols  by  which  it  is  implied. 
This  superstition,  indeed,  appears  in  the  works  of  the  oldest 
Bards,  which  are  now  extant,  incorporated  with  their  Ar- 
kite  mythology :  but  those  who  were  more  peculiarly  de- 
■  voted  to  it,  had  the  opprobrious  name  of  Beirdd  Beli^^th^ 
Bards  of  Beli. 

When  we  recollect  the  Gaulish  tradition  of  Caesar's  days 
r^That  the  discipline  of  Druidism,  such  as  it  then  was,  had 


been  modelled  in  Britain  and  from  thence  brought  over  info 
Gaul,*  we  may  deem  the  following  incident  worthy  of  note. 

Tristram  ordered  his  new  vassal,  Beliagog,  to  build  a 
hall — (temple) — in  honour  of  Ysonde  and  Brengwain — the 
Ceres  and  Proserpine  of  Cornwall.  The  giant  complied 
with  this  injunction,  and  built  the  hall  within  his  ozim  castle, 
to  which  he  taught  Tristrem  a  secure  and  secret  approach. 
He  also  adorned  this  hall  with  sculptures,  exactly  represent- 
ing the  whole  history  of  his  former  life,  with  exact  represen- 
tations of  Ysonde,  Brengwain,  Mark,  Meriadok,  his  minister, 
Hodain,  and  Peticrewe,  their  mystical  dogs. 

This,  surely,  as  a  mythological  tablet,  describes  the  in- 
troduction of  a  system  of  theology,  and  religious  rites,  out 
of  Britain  into  Gaul;  and  this  appears  to  have  been  a  mix- 
ture of  Arkite  superstition,  and  Sabian  idolatry. 

In  the  chapter  which  I  have  just  quoted  from  Caesar,  the 
historian  adds  the  information,  that  in  his  days,  those  who 
wished  to  have  a  more  accurate  knowledge  of  Druidism, 
generally  went  into  Britain  for  instruction. 

This  circumstance  was  not  overlooked  in  the  tale  of  Sir 
Tristrem,  This  knight  gave  his  brother-in-law,  Ganhardin, 
Prince  of  Brittany,  such  an  interesting  description  of  the 
Queen  of  Cornwall,  that  his  curiosity  was  strongly  excited. 
Being  conducted  by  Tristrem  to  the 'marvellous  castle  of 
Beliagog,  which  he  could  scarcely  approach  without  trem- 
bling, and  having  there  viewed  the  portraits  of  Ysonde  and 
Brengwain,  he  was  so  astonished  with  their  beauty,  that  he 

■      ■'  —  ■        ,    I  -  m  -,.-1.  ■  W- ■ 

*  De  Bell.  Gall.  L.  VI,  c.  13. 


staggered,  and  fell  backward  in  a  swoon.  Upon  his  reco- 
very, he  felt  a  violent  passion  for  the  charms  t)f  Brengwain, 
Proserpine,  whom  he  determined  to  see  in  person,  without 
j^ss  of  time.  Accordingly,  the  Gaulish  prince  embarks  for 
this  island,  attended  by  the  British  hierophant.  They  ar- 
rive in  Cornwall,  meet  Ysonde  and  Brengwain,  in  the 
forest,  or  grove,  where  t)ie  enamoured  stranger  is  espoused 
to  the  latter. 

The  Auchinleck  MS.  being  imperfect,  breaks  off  in  this 
place.  The  conclusion  of  the  tale  is  supplied  by  the  learned 
editor,  from  some  French  fragments.  But,  if  I  may  judge 
from  British  mythology,  which  certainly  constitutes  the 
basis  of  the  history  of  Sir  Tristrem,  this  part  is  less  au- 
thentic than  the  work  of  Thomas  the  Rhymer. 

The  particulars  which  I  have  remarked  in  this  story, 
have  the  genuine  character  of  that  traditional  lore,  which 
we  find  in  the  Triads,  the  Mabinogion,  and  several  passages 
of  the  ancient  Bards :  and  they  discover  one  principal 
source  of  those  romantic  narratives,  which,  for  a  series  of 
ages,  constituted  the  favourite  reading  of  Europe. 

Such  tales  as  the  Mabinogion,  it  will  be  said,  do  not  de- 
serve to  be  ranked  with  sober  history^  This  is  freely  ac- 
knowledged. They  are  only  brought  forward,  to  diffuse  a 
faint  ray  over  ages,  where  history  refuses  its  light.  In  this 
sense,  they  may  be  useful.  They  contain  traditions  of 
remote  times,  when  Druidism  had  many  private,  and  some 
avowed  friends :  and  they  are  found  to  coincide  with  the 
most  authentic  documents  which  we  have  upon  the  subject 
of  British  superstition,  and  with  the  researches  of  our  best 


Thus,  under  the  representation  of  three  mighty  swine- 
herds, or  hierophants,  we  have,  first  of  all,  an  account  of 
the  earliest  religion  of  onr  Celtic  ancestors,  concerning 
which  any  memorials  have  come  to  our  times :  and  this  ap-§ 
pears  to  have  consisted  of  a  deplaved  copy  of  the  patri- 
archal religion,  with  a  strong  abhorrence  of  Sabian 

Coll  and  his  mystical  sow,  present]  the  picture  of  a  novel 
system,  which  was  introduced  into  Cornwall,  and  from 
thence  extended  into  Wales,  and  into  other  parts  of  Britain. 
This  had  a  general  correspondence  with  the  former,  in  the 
memorials  of  Arkite  superstition;  but  it  also  included  an 
adoration  of  the  heavenly  bodies,  and  viewed  the  deified 
patriarch,  as  united  with  the  sun. 

The  character  of  Trystan  continues  the  history  of  a  he- 
terogeneous superstition,  made  up  of  the  religion  of  the 
native  Britons,  incorporated  with  foreign  innovation,  ex- 
tending over  great  part  of  Britain,  and  cultivated  in  Ire-  ^ 
land,  but  chiefly  centering  in  Cornwall,  where  it  had  gained 
the  first  establishment  upon  British  ground,  and  from 
thence  introduced  into  Gaul, 

As  the  characters  of  the  three  great  swine-herds,  present' 
a  general  view  of  the  history  and  revolutions  of  Druidism, 
previous  to  the  Roman  conquest  of  Briton;  it  may  not  be 
amiss  to  consider  ajew  traditions,  relating  to  those  events 


which  affected  the  superstition  of  our  ancestors,  subse- 
quent to  that  period. 

*  The  British  documents,  in  which  tliese  traditions  are 
involved,  are,  it  must  be  confessed,  Kke  the  former,  suffi- 
ciently uncouth  and  obscure  ;■  but  they  are  the;  best  that 
we  have,  and  I  shall  pass  over  them  as  slightly  as  pos- 

That  the  Romans,  during  their  profession  of  paganism, 
shewed  but  little  countenance  to  the  Celtic  priesthood,  may 
be  inferred  from  the  severe  prohibition  of  their  religious 
rites  in  Ciraul,  and  from  the  conduct  of  Suetonius,  towards 
,  the  Dritids,  the  groves  and  the  altars  of  Mona.  And  it 
cannot  be  supposed,  that  this  people,  after  they  became 
Christian,  could  view  the  remains  of  British  idolatry, 
with  more  favourable  eyes. 

The  public  sacrifices  of  the  Druids,  and  their  open  pro- 
fession of  magic,  were  undoubtedly  suppressed  in  those 
parts  of  the  provinces,  which  were  more  immediately  under 
the  inspection  of  the  government.  But  this  operation  of 
civil  edicts,  does  not  necessarily  imply,  the  immediate 
eradication  of  an  inveterate  superstition  from  the  minds  of 
the  people.  From  what  we  know  of  British  infatuation, 
after  the  departure  of  the  Romans,  it  is  reasonable  to  con- 
clude, that  during  their  vassalage,  our  progenitors  had 
kept  fast  hold  of  their  ancient  prejudices  and  customs.  We 
are  told,  which  is  probably  true,  that  in  many  corners  bf 
the  island,  the  Romans  permitted  the  natives  to  be  go- 
verned partly  by  their  own  laws,  and  under  princes  of  their 
own.  In  those  Asyld,  people  thus  disposed,  and  who 
spoke  a  language  which  was  unintelligible  to  their  pohtjcal^ 


masters,  would  naturally  preserve  the  memory  of  their  sa- 
cred poems  and  traditional  institutes :  they  would  also  con- 
tinue to  pei-form  such  of  their  mystical  rites,  as.  were  less 
obnoxious  to  observation  and  public  censure. 

From  the  language  of  the  Triads,  and  some  ancient 
poems,  there  is  reason  to  infer,  that  they  carried  their  pre- 
judices still  further :  that  during  the  Roman  government, 
there  was  a  seminary  of  Dniids  some  where  in  the  North 
of  Britain,  or  in  an  adjacent  island ;  and  probably  beyond 
the  limits  of  the  empire,  where  the  doctrine  and  discipline 
of  heathenism  were  cultivated  without  controul :  that  those 
Druids  persisted  in  sacrificing,  even  human  victims  :  that'cer- 
tain  devotees,  from  the  Southern  provinces,  repaired  to  their 
solemn  festivals :  that  upon  the  departure  of  the  Romans, 
some  abominable  rites  were  brought  back  from  the  North 
into  Mona,  and  into  other  parts  of  Wales ;  and  that  the 
Northern  seminary  was  not  finally  suppressed  till  the  close 
of  the  sixth  century. 

The  notices  upon  which  I  ground  this  opinion,  I  now 
proceed  to  state. 

Of  the  introduction  of  the  Cornish  mode  of  Druidism 
into  Carnarvonshire,  and  from  thence  into  North  Britain, 
we  have  had  a  hint  in  the. story  of  CoU,  the  great  mysta- 
gogue,  who  is  said  to  have  presented  Brynach,  prince  of 
the  Northern  Gwyddelians,  with  the  Eaglet  which  was  de- 
posited by  the  mystical  sow,  and  which,  in  after  times  be- 
came very  famous. 

The  fame  of  this  eagle  and  his  progeny,  is  now  to  be  l"e- 
<pognized  only  in  the  history  of  the  two   dusky  birds  of 


Gwenddoleu,  which  guarded  his  treasure,  wearing  a  yoke  of 
gold;  and  which  were  iri  the  daily  habit  of  consuming  two 
persons  for  their  dinner,  and  the  like  number  for  their  sup- 
per.* Such  is  the  language  of  the  Triads :  and  if  this 
does  not  imply  the  sacrificing  of  human  victims,  to  some 
divinity,  who  acknowledged  those  bir^  for  his  symbols, 
or  his  attributes,  I  know  not  what  to  make  of  it. 

Gwenddoleu,  the  master  of  those  consumers,  is  described 
as  a  prince,  who  resided  on  the  North  of  the  Strath-Clwyd 
Britons;  but  contiguous  to  them.  His  destructive  birds 
fell  together  with  himself,  by  the  hand  of  Gall  Power,  the 
son  of  Dysg  Yvedawg,  the  imbiber  of  learning,  who  is  re- 
presented as  prince  of  Deira  and  Bernicia.  This  catas- 
trophe happened  in  the  battle  of  Arderydd  ag  Eryddon,  the 
Mgh  eagle,  and  the  eagles,  a  fanatical  contest  on  account  of 
a  bird's  nest,f  which  was  decided  in  the  year  593.  J 

These  birds  which  daily  consumed  their  human  vic- 
tims— which  were  destroyed  by  the  power  of  a  prince, 
who  had  imbided  learning,  or  embraced  Christianity,  aiid 
in  the  battle  of  eagles,  are  certainly  to  be  understood  in  a 
mystical  sense;  and  as  the  eagle  was  one  of  the  symbols 
under  which  an  object  of  Druidical  superstition  was  re- 
presented, I  presume  that  these  birds  of  Gwenddoleu  must 
have  the  same  symbolical  meaning, "as  the  eaglet  which  was 

•  W.  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  9.  13,  65. 

+  W.  Ai;chaLol.  V.  11.  p.  11,  65. 

t  Cambrian  Register^  V.  .11.  p.  313.  .        „  , 

In  this  contest,  another  mystical  canibnl  was  destroyed— ijamely,  Gwrgi 
Oani)  Iwt/ii—tlie  hideout,  gret),  Ituman  dog. 


brought  forth,  by  the  mystical  sow,  or  genius  of  the  a^t^ 
and  presented  to  a  prince  of  the  North'  Britons. 

If  this  be  admitted,  it  must  at  the  same  time- be  sup- 
posed, that  Gwenddoleu  himself  was  either  a  priest  or  a 
divinity  in  the  superstitious  establishment  of  those  Britons.^ 

Let  us  inquire  a  httle  into  his  character  and  connexions. 

That  there  was  a  celebrated  Northern  prince  in  the  sixth 
century,  knoivn  by  the  name  of  Gwenddoleu,  and  litterally 
opposed  to  Rhydderch,  in  the  battle  of  Arderydd,  I  will 
not  take  upon  me  to  deny;  but  as  it  was  a  notorious  practice 
of  British  priests,  to  assume  some  title  of  the  God  they 
worshipped ;  and  as  this  name  implies  of  the  luminous  ob- 
lique courses,  I  rather  think  it  was  an  epithet  for  the  sun. 
His  priest,  notwithstanding,  may  have  taken  a  fancy 
to  it.  ^ 

Gwenddoleu  was  the  son  of  Ceidio,  preservation,  the  son 
of  Arthwys,  the  indoser,  the  Arkite,  the  son  of  M6r,  the  sea. 
AmOngst  his  uncles  and  brothers  we  have  Pabo,  producer  of 
life;  Eleuver,  the  luminary;  Cov ;  memory,  and  Nudd, 
mist. — Those  are  mystical  connections  of  the  Helio-Arkite 

If  we  look  for  Nudd,  we  shall  find  that  he  draws  his  pe- 
digree somewhat  differently,  but  from  the  same  vocabulary 
of  superstition.— He  was  the  son  of  Senyllt,  the  seneschal  or 
mystagogue,  the  son  of  Cedig,  the  beneficent,  a  title  of  the 
Arkite  goddess,  recognized  by  Taleisin.*     And  this  Nudd 

App«bdix,  No.  4. 


had  a  son  named  Dryteon,  the  Druidical  teacher,  whose  re- 
tinue is  celebrated  for  having  voluntarily  maintained  the 
contest,  in  the  open  course  of  Arderydd,  the  gcene  of 
Gwenddoleu's  overthrow.  * 

The  fidelity  of  G^nddoleu's  retinue  is  -equally  famous. 
It  is  recorded  of  them,  that  they  maintained  the  conflict 
for  forty-six  days  after]  the  death  of  their  Lord,  and  till 
they  had  aVenged  his  fall.f 

Gwenddoleu  was  also  one  of  the  renowned  bulls  of  the 
contest  of  mystery,  classed  with  the  Primordial  great  one, 
son  of  the  prior  world,  of  former  inhabitants ;  and  with 
the  parent,  son  of  the  primitive  horse,  Hippos  or  sacred 
ship.  He,  therefore,  personified  the  great  Helio-Arkite 

From  these  notice*  offered  by  the  Triads,  let  us  turn  to 
Merddin,  the  Caledonian.  This  dignified  priest  informs  us, 
that  his  Lord  Gwenddoleu  had  presented,  or  privately  exhi- 
bited to  him,  a  hundred  and  forty-seven  apple-trees  of  equal 
age,  height,  length,  and  size,  which  had  sprung  from  the  bo- 
som of  Mercy;  were  enveloped  by  one  mystical  veil,  and  were 
still  left  under  the  protection  or  Olwen,  a  mythological  cha- 
racter, who  must  be  identified  with  the  Arkite  goddess. — ■ 
The  fruit  of  these  trees  were  precious  things  whicli  Gws^d' 
doleu  freely  bestowed.  J 

H  H      ' 

•  W,  Archfliol.  V.  II.  p.  8. 12.  69. 

t  Ibid.  p.  7.  16.  70.  The  poems  of  Merddin  the  Caledonian,  aiford  ground 
of  conjecture,  tliat  these  days  were  years,  during  which,  the  votaries  of  Dru- 
idism  persisted  in  their  superstitions  practices,  after  some  severe  laws  tad 
been  promulgated  against  them. 

i  Merddin's  Avajlensu,  1,  and  6. 


Those  trefes,  as  I  shall  shew  presently,  were  purely  alle- 
gorical, and  imported  the  tarious  secrets  of  Druidism; 
consequently,  Gwfenddoleu,  who  had  the  peculiar  privilege 
of  exhibiting  the  mystical  orchard,  and  disposing  of  its 
produce,  must  in  some  sense,  have  presided  over  the 
order  of  Druids,  And  thus  much  is  implied,  in  the  dia- 
logue between  "Gwyn  ab  Nudd,  the.  king  of  the  deep,  and 
Gwyddnaw,  the  great  Heriophant,  or  representative  of  the 
patriarch,  where  Gwenddoleu  is  styled  Colovyn  Cerddeu— 
the  pillar  of'  Bardic  lore,* 

Putting  these  things  together,  and  still  recollecting  the 
birds  which  wore  a  golden  yoke,  guarded  the  treasures  of 
Gwenddoleu,  and  consumed  four  persons  daily;  I  think  we 
may  conclude,  that  Gwenddoleu  was  the  head  of  an  eminent 
Druidical  establishment  in  North  Britain,  which  admitted 
of  human  sacrifices.  And  whether  he  is  to  be  deemed  a 
divinity,  or  an  Arch-Druid,  the  representative  of  a  divinity, 
his  influence  at  one  period  must  have  been  very  extensive, 
as  we  may  collect  from  the  language  of  his  votary  and 
chosen  priest,  Merddin  the  Caledonian. 

"  I  have  seen  Gwenddoleu,  adorned  with  the  precious 
"  gifts  of  princes,  gathering  his  contributions  from  every 
"  extretnify  cf  the  land :  noy,  alas  the  red  turf  has  covered 
*'  the  most  gentle  chief  of  the  Northern  sovereigns"  f 

As  this  mystical  ruler  of  sovereigns,  who  had  received  his 
offerings  from  the  remotest  regions,  was  Merddin's  acknow- 
ledged lord,  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  consider  a  few  parti- 

•  W.  Archaiol.  p.  165. 
■i  Hoianaa  3. 


culars  of  that  Bard's  character,  both  as  drawn  by  certain 
ancient  writers,  who  composed  in  his  ja^me,  and  as  exhi-. 
bited  by  himself  in  his  genuine  works. 

To  the  English  reader,  I  am  aware,  that  the  term  Bard, 
suggests  only  the  idea  of  a  person  of  mean  condition,  who 
has  distinguished  himself  by  the  composition  of  a  few  silly 
rhymes ;  and  this  idea  is  generally  'accurate,  when  it  regards 
the  modern  Welsh  Bards  :  but  amongst  the  ancient  Britons, 
the  title  was  of  eminent  dignity  and'  importance;  it  could 
be  conferred  only  upon  men  of  distinguished  rank  in  society, 
and  who  filled  a  sacred  office. 

Thus,  Merddin  is  styled  supreme  judge  of  the  North ; 
that  is,  of  the  regions  beyond  the  little  kingdom  of  Strath 
Clwyd ;  and  the  Sy&,  or  diviner  of  every  region  :*  and  in 
virtue  of  this  office,  he  was  Cerddglud  Clyd  Lliant,  presi- 
dent of  Bardic  lore,  about  the  waters  of  Clyde,  f  He  was 
companion  of  Canawon  CynUaithjX  the  offspring  of  the 
goddess  of  slaughter,  whom  Aneurin  thus  commemorates, 
in  the  songs  of  the  Gododin. — "  If,  in  the  banquet  of 
''  mead  and  wine,  the  Saxons  sacrificed  to  slaughter,  the 
"  mother  of  spoliation ;  the  energetic  Eidiol  also  honoured 
"  her  before  the  mount,  in  the  presence  of  the  god  of 
f'  vietory,  the  king  who  rises  in  light,  and  ascends  the 
"  sky."§ 

H  H  a 

•  Cyvoesi  1. 
+  Ibid.  11. 
i  Ibid.  11.47. 

468     , 

And  this  connexion  between  the  British  divinities  of 
tlawghter  and  victory,  is  marked  in  the  character  of  Merd- 
din,  who  is  styled — Allwedd  byddin  Budd  Ner* — the  key, 
or,  interpreter  of  the  army  of  the  god  of  victory. 

He  was  the  brother  of  'Gwenddydd  Wen,  adlam  Cerddeuf 
— the  fair  lady  of  the  day,  the  refuge  of  Bardic  lore — a 
mythological  character :  and  this  lady  addresses  the  vene- 
rable priest  in  the  following  terms : — "  Arise  from  thy  secret 
"  place,  and  unfold  the  books  of  the  Awen  (Bardic  muse, 
"  a  name  of  Ceres),  the  object  of  general  dread,  and  the 
"  speech  of  Bun,  Proserpine,  and  the  visions  of  sleep."J 

These  pare  some  of  the' qualifications  of  Merddin,  as  re- 
corded by  a  Northern,  but  unknown  Bard,  who  wrote  in 
his  name  and  character  about  the  year  948. §  He  was  a 
supreme  judge,  a  priest,  and  a  prophet — and  he  was  conver- 
sant in  the  mysteries  of  the  very  same  divinities,  Cynllaith, 
Budd,  Awen,  and  Bun,  whidi  were  revered  at  the  great 
temple  of  Stonehenge. 

His  reputation  as  a  prophet,  has  thrown  a  shade  over  the 
few  remains  of  his  g-enuine  productions.  It  has  suggested 
a  hint  for  their  interpolation,  by  more  recent  Bards,  with 
political  predictions,  adapted  to  the  circumstances  of  the 
times,  or  the  views  of  parties.    The  mystical  poem,  called 

*  Cyvoesi  69. 
t  Ibid.  133. 
i  Ibid.  129, 

§  So  his  age  is  fixed  bv  our  great  antiquarvi  Ed,  Llwjd.    See  his  Catalogue 

»i  British  MSS.  ■      ^ ,    ^ 


Hoianau,  certaiply.  contains  some  speqimens  of  this  kind, 
'which  cannot  be  as  old  as  the  time  of  Merddiil:  yet,  I 
think,  the  bulk  of  the  piece  is  his  genuine  composUiftn. 
At  least,  it  is  not  the  work  of  a  Welshman ;  for  much  of 
its  grammatical  idiom,;  and  several  of  its, terms,  are  in'.lhe 
language,  of  those  Northern  people,  amongst  whom,  it,,is 
acknowledged  that  Merddin  lived.*  ' 

In  this  piece,  Merddin  the  Caledonian,  like  Pryd^ri,  Coll, 
and  Trystan,  supports  the  character  of  a  swineherd,  or  myi 
tagogue.  He  had  resided,  with  his  herd,  either  in  an 
island,  or  in?  some  remote  prompntory,  where,  amongst 
other  arts,  he  had  practiced  diviraakion,  by  the  flight  arid 
voices  of  -sea-fowls.  And  it  is  from  this  locality  of  his 
residence,  as  1  suppose,  that  he  is  called  the  son  of  Mor- 
vryn,  the  mount  in  the  sea. 

In  this  happy  retreat,  Merddin  is  exposed,  as  well  as  his 
mystical  herd,  to  a  severe  persecution,  conducted  by  a  King 

*  This  fact  will  appear  upon  tlie  examination  of  tte  very  first  line. 

Oian  a  phorchellan,  a  pharchell  dedwydd^wiiich  would  be  thus  expressed  in 
"Welsh — 

■  Edrycho  harckellynt  o  barchell  dedwydd. 

"  Attend,  thou, little  pig,  thou  initiated  pig." 

It  must  hare  be  remarked,  that  we  have  no  such  word  as  Oian:  it  certainly 
comes  from  the  Irish  and  Caledonian  verb  Oig^aw,  ovOighanam,  I  behold,  I 
mttettd,  whence  the  imperative  Oi^/taH,  pronounced  Oi'an,  Behold!  Attend! 

Again,  a,  in  Irish  and  Erse,  is  a  sign  of  the  vocative  case ;  biit  it  is  never 
so  in  Welsh :  we  write  and  pronounce  o. 

The  initial  p  in  porchellan,  is  here  changed  into  phj  after  the  sign  of  the 
vocative,  as  in  Ireland  and  the  Highlands ;  whereas  in  Welsh,  it  would  neces- 
sarily become  a  h.  Thus,  instead  of  the  exclamation  of  the  Irish  Ossian — A 
Fhadruig,  0  Patrick,  a  Welshman  would  express  himself — "  0  Badrig!"  and 
in  all  parallel  cases,  the  variations  of  the  initials  are  the  same. 

Parchell,  in  this  poem,  takes  the  Irish  and  Erse  diminutive  termination,  an, 
which  the  Welsh  express  by  yn.  So  that  it  is  evident  from  these  three  first 
words,  that  the  Hoianau  is  not  Welsh  ■  and  (hat  we  had  our  copy  from  the 
country  of  Merddin :  for  had  it  come  from  Ireland,  it  would  have  differed  still 
mote  than  it  does  from  our  native  idiom. 


of  Alclud,  who  is  styled  Rhydderch  Hael,  RhzmfDiadur  ffydi 
■ — Rhydderch  the  Liberal,  the  champion  of  the  Ghrislidn 

The  flame  kindled  by  this  King  of  the  Strath  Clwyd  Bri- 
tons, commiinicates  itself  to  the  neighbouring  princes,  to 
a  host  of  bishops  and  monks,  and,  in  short,  to  all  the  pro- 
fessors of  Christianity ;  and  the  grunting  chorus  is  in  danger 
of  being  roasted  aliVe. 

It  is  upon  this  occasion,  that  the  terrified  Druid  rouses 
the  attention  of  his  pigs,  and  warns  them  to  fly  for  their 
lives  into  some  secret  place  in  the  Caledonian  forest.  His 
address  is  "worthy  of  a  swineherd,  and  of  his  audience. 
The  reader  may  be  amused  with  a  short  specimen  or  two. 

"  Attend,  little  pig — thou  initiated  pig !  Burrow  not  with 
"  thy  snout  on  the  top  of  the  hill.  Burrow  in  a  secret 
"  hiding  place,  amongst  the  forests — a  place  which  has 
"  not  been  noted  by  Rhydderch  the  Liberal,  the  champi6n 
"  of  the  faith." 

"  Attend,  little  pig!  it  was  necessary  to  depart — to  avoid 
"  the  hunters  of  the  water-dwellings  (our  insular  abodes),  if 
"  they  should  attempt  to  seize  us — lest  the  persecution 
"  should  come  upon  us,  and  we  should  be  seen.  If  we 
"  can  but  escape,  we  will  not  deplore  our  calamitous  toil."  * 

If  all  this  is  to  be  understood  in  the  literal  sense,  what 
ideas  must  we  entertain  of  the  Christian  princes  and  bishops, 
who  could  condescend  to  pei'secute  such  a  groveling  herd ! 

Hoianau  1,  S, 


But  the  initiated  or  enlightened  swiue  Wiere  certainly  alle- 
gorical: and  the  real  objects  of  persecution  are  suggested 
in  a  little  poem,*  purporting  to  have  been  a  dialogue  be- 
tween Merddin,  and  a  person  c^U^d  Ys  Colan,  The  Colan. 
Here  our  swineherd  appears  in  the  character  of  an  insolent 
and  contumacious  pagan. 

Merddin  seeing  a  stranger  approach  his  watery  nook,  with 
a  black  horse,  and  a  black  cap,  and  iii  dark  attire,  demands 
if  his  name  was  Ys  Colan, 

The  stranger  replies,  that  he  really  was  Ys  Colan,  a  Scot- 
tish or  Irish  scholar^  who  held  the  Bard  in  little  esteem :  and 
at  the  same  time  denounces  the  vengeance'of  the  king  upon 
those  who  should  refuse  to  plunge  into  the  water,  or  be 

As  the  battle  of  Arderydd,  or  the  aera  of  the  persecution 
of  the  Bards,  is  dated  in  the  year  593,f  and  as  Merddin 
and  his  associates  made  a  precarious,  stand  for  some  years 
longer,  I  think  it  highly  probable  that  The  Colan,  an  Irish 
scholar,  who  introduced  Christianity  amongst  the  Druidi- 
cal  herd  in  Caledonia,  and  enforced  the  necessity'  of  baptism, 
was  no  other  than  Colomba,  the  priest  aud  abbot,  who  came 
cut  of  Ireland  into  Britain,  jin  the  year  605,  to  instruct  the 
Northern  Picts  in  the  Christian  religion,  and  received  from 
his  converts,  the  island  of  Hu,  lona,  or  I-Colm-Kil.;}: 

To  this  mission  of  the  good  abbot,  Merddin  seems  to 

*  W  Archaiol.  p.  132. 

t  Cam.  Reg.  V.  II,  p.  S13. 

t  Bede,  L.  III.  c.  4.    Cibsoo's  Camdeit  Col.  1241,  14^. 


iiave  made  an  obstinate  resistance:  for  in  the  poem  above 
mentioned,  he  complains  of  the  penalties  he  had  incurred, 
by  having  burnt  the  church,  obstructed  the  establishment 
of  a  school,  and  drowned  a  book,  with  which  he  had  been 

He  then  pleads  the  merit  of  having  been  confined  for  a 
whole  year  upon  the  pole  of  a  wear :  that  is,  having  been 
initiated,  like  Taliesin,  into  the  greater  mysteries  of  the 
wear  of  Gwyddnaw;  and  upon  this  plfea,  hp  implores  the 
Creatpr  to  forgive  his  oifences,* 

In  the  conclusion  he  acknowledges,  that  had  he  known 
how  perceptibly  the  wind  blew  upon  the  points  of  the  mys- 
tical sprigs,  he  would  have  desisted  from  an  action  which 
he  had  imprudently  committed.  As  this  is  an  illusion  to 
the  Bardic  mode  of  writing,  it  may  imply,  that  Merddin 
had  either  disclosed  or  written  something  in  defence  of  his 
system,  which,  in  the  event,  proved  injurious  to  it.  And 
the  Bards  have  a  tradition,  that  Is  Colan  threw  a  heap  of 
British  books  into  the  fire, 

From  these  particulars,  it  is  pretty  evident  that  Merddin, 
the  vassal  of  Gwenddpleu,  has  been  viewed  as  the  hiero- 
phant  of  a  herd  of  heatkenishswine. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  character  of  their  great  enemy, 
who  instigated  the  neighbouring  princes,  together  with  the 
bishops  and  menks,  to  unite  in  the  persecution  of  this  in-? 
,  fatuated  race. 

*  I  follow  the  order  of  a  MSi  copy  in  roy  possession.    The  printed  edjtioii 

^as  tra,nspos^d  two  stanzas. 


E-hydderch  the  Liberal,  the  son  of  Tudwal  of  Tud-Clyd, 
or  the  district  of  Clyde,  was  King  of  the  Strath  Clwyd 
Britons,  about  the  close  of  the  sixth  century;  and  his  resi- 
dence was  at  Alclvd,  or  Dunbarton.*  We  have  seen,  that 
he  is  mentioned  by  Merddin  as  the  champion  of  the  Chris- 
tian faith,  and  the  determined  persecutor  of  the  mystagogue 
and  his  swine. 

In  the  Cyvoesi,  where  Merddin  is  introduced  as  prophe- 
sying of  those  events  which  should  take  place,  subsequent 
to  the  battle  of  Arderydd,  in  which  Rhydderch  slew  the 
celebrated  Gwenddoleu,  we  are  further  told— 

Byd  Gwynnydd  yn  rhyd — Tawy, 
Rhydderch  Hael,  dan  ysbeid, 
Gelyn  Dinas  Beirdd  bro  Glyd. 

1      This  passage  is  somewhat  obscure,  owing  to  the  transpo- 
sition of  the  sentences:  but  the  meaning  is  this — 

"  Rhydderch  the  Liberal,  the  enemy  of  the  community 
"  of  Bards,  in  the  vale  of  Clyde,  after  an  interval,  will 
"  put  the  white-vested  ones  into  the  ford  of  Tay."f 

That  is,  when  Rhydderch  had  routed  the  idolatrous 
Bards  from  his  own  dominions,  and  the  neighbouring  dis- 
tricts, they  retired  into  the  midst  of  the  Caledonian  forest, 
as  related  by  Merddin.  After  some  time,  their  retreat  is 
discovered  upon  the  bank  of  the  Tay;  and  the  pagan  fugi- 

•  W.  Archajol.  V.  II.  p.  11. 

t  Tawy,  a.  principal  river,  that  penetrates  the  centre  of , the  Caledonian 
forest,  must  be  the  Tpy. 


tives  are  still  pursued,  by  the  influence  of  Rhydderch. 
But  as  this  "  Liberal"  prince  puts  the  &hite-vested  ones,  or 
Druids,  into  the  ford,  and  not  into  the  deep  parts  of  the 
river,  we  may  conclude  that  his  intention  was  to  baptize^ 
and  not  to  drown  them. 

Hence  we  may  form  a  probable  idea  of  what  is  meant, 
by  the  celebrated  battle  of  Ard-erydd  ag  En/ddon,  the  high 
eagle  and  the  eagles,  in  which  this  Christian  prince  slew 
Gwenddoleu,  who  was  at  the  head  of  the  Druidical  super- 
stition— in  which  the  imbiber  of  learning  slew  his  two  mys- 
tical birds,  which  dehghted  in  human  sacrifices— rin  which 
that  cannibal  monster,  Gwrgi  Garwlwyd,  ths  hideous  and 
grey  human  dog,  also  fell ;  and  in  which  the  united  cham- 
pions of  the  Christian  faith  dispersed  the  adherents  to  the 
ancient  superstition,  amongst  the  rocks  and  caves  of  the 
Caledonian  forest. 

This  battle  seems  to  have  been  decided,  not  by  the  sword^ 
but  by  severe  edicts,  by  the  oratory  of  Christian  ministers, 
and  the  zeal  of  reformers,  manifested  in  the  demolition  of 
idols  and  heathen  temples,  and  in  the  punishment  of  the 
contumacious,  or  their  expulsion  from  society. 

I  have  now  produced  a  chain  of  traditional  notices,  whicli, 
imply,  that  the  symbols  of  superstition  found  their  way 
into  the  North,  from  Cornwall,  and  through  Wales,  in  an 


age  of  general  heathenism ;  and  that  the  superstition  which 
accompanied  these  symbols,  flourished  in  the  West  of  Scot- 
land, till  nearly  the  close  of  the  sixth  century. 

It  is  farther  intimated  in  a  whimsical  Triad,  that  the 
provincial  Britons  viewed  this  Northern  hierarchy  with 
great  respect,  and  that  they  not  only  made  pilgrimages  to 
the  feasts  of  the  Caledonian  priests,  but  also,  that  they  re- 
imported  some  of  their  mystical  furniture  and  rites  into 
Walesj  after  the  departure  of  the  Romans.  This  Triad 
introduces  certain  sacred  ships,  under  the  character  of 
horses,  hke  the  Hippi  of  Greek  mythology.  The  first  article 
runs  thus— 

"  Three  horses  carried  the  three  loads  of  the  island  of 
"  Britain.  The  black  horse  of  the  seas,  the  steed  of  Helio- 
"  dorus,  the  ifiost  courteous,  carried  seven  persons  and  a 
"  half,  from  the  mount  of  the  flat  stone  of  Hdiodorus,  in 
"  the  North,  to  the  mount  of  the  flat  stone  of  Heliodorus, 
"  in  Mona. 

"  The  seven  persons  were,  Heliodorus,  the  most  courteous; 
"  Eurgain,  golden  splendour,  his  wife,  the  daughter  of 
"  Maelgwn,  the  beneficent  chief;  and  Gzeyn  da  Gyvoed^— 
"  white,*  good  to  his  contemporaries,  the  master  of  his  dogs 
"  (his  high  priest) ;  saA  Gwyn  da  Reiniad,  white,  the  good 
"  darter;  and  the  monk  of  Nawmon,  the  ship  of  the  cow, 
"  His  counsellor;  and  Pedrylaw,  four-handed,  his  butler; 
"  and  Arianvagyl,  sihercrook,  his  servant.  And  the  half 
"  person  was  Gel  ben  evyn,  shoot  or  branch,  with  the  shackled 

*  These  whites  were  Druidi. 


"  headi  his  cook,  who  swam  with  his  hands  upon  the  horse's 
"  crupper,  and  his  feet  in  the  water."* 

It  is  hoped  the  general  reader  Will  excuse  the  introduc- 
tion of  this  odd  paragraph,  for  the  sake  of  the  mythologist 
or  antiquary,  who  may  discover  something -curious  in  the 
several  items.  I  shall  only  remark,  that  the  steed  which 
carried  such  a  load  of  mysterious  beings  out  of  Scotland 
into  Mono,  and  by  sea,  can  only  be  considered  as  the  repre- 
sentative of  the  sacred  ship  of  mythology,  which  was  the 
vehicle  of  the  mystical  eight. 

This  voyage  took  place  in  the  interval,  between  the  de- 
parture of  the  Romans  in  the  fifth,  and  the  general  con- 
version of  the  Welsh  about  the  close  of  the  sixth,  century: 
the  story,  therefore,  involves  an  account  of  the  re-con- 
ducting of  some  Druidical  apparatus,  with  a  suite  of 
priests,  out  of  Scotland  into  Wales.  And  the  name  of 
Heliodorus^  the  master  of  the  group,  has,  probably,  a  re- 
ference to  the  sun,  who  was  a  distinguished  object  in  the 
mysticism  of  Coll,  the  Cornish  hjerophant. 

The  Triad  proceeds  thus —  ^ 

"  The  second  load  was  that  of  Cornan,  ''having  small 
"  horns — crescent — the  horse  of  the  sons  Eliver,  with  the 
"  great  retinue,  which  carried  Gwrgi  and  Peredur,  and 
"  Dunawd  Bwr,  the  sons  of'  Pabo,  and  Cynvelyn  Drw^l, 
"  to  see  the  sacred  fire  of  Gwenddoleu,  in  Arderydd." 

Here  we  have  pilgrimages  to  the  solemnities  of  the  Nor- 

*  W,  Archaiol.  V.  II.  p.  7,  20,  rp. 


thern  Druids.  This  Cornan,  or  Crescent,  was,  I  suppose, 
a  mere  symbol  of  the  sacred  ship  ;  an  insigne  of  the  same 
import  as  the  Cwrwg  Gwydrin,  or  boat  of  glass,  mentioned 
by  Taliesin,  as  exhibited  in  the  hand  of  the  stranger,  and 
procuring  his  admission  to  the  nocturnal  celebrities^* 

The  heroes,  whom  thi«  Cornan  introduced  to  the  Nor- 
thern solemnities,  were  near  relations  of  Gwenddoleu,  or 
members  of  his  mystical  society.  Elwer  and  Paho  were 
brothers  of  Geidio,  Gwenddoleu's  father,  and  grandsons  of 
M6r,  thesea.f 

Gwrgi  and  Peredur,  the  sons  of  Pabo,  were,  at  last, 
deserted  by  their  party,  and  slain  at  Caer  Greu,  the  city  of 
blood,-\.  or  in  the  battle '  of  Arderydd.§  Their  story  is  full 
of  mythology.  Gwrgi,  the  human  dog,  surnamed  Garw- 
Iwydi  hideous  and  grey,  like  the  birds  of  his  cousin  Gwendr- 
doleu,  delighted  in  human  sacrifices ;  and,  like  them,  was 
slain  by  a  son  of  the  imbiber  of  learning.  || 

The  third  mystical  load  recorded  by  our  Triad,  was  that 

*  Cadair  Taliesin,  in  the  third  section  of  this  Essay.  See  also  Maurice's 
India.n  Antiquities,  V.  VI.  p.  190.     Bryant's  Analysis,  V.  II.  p.  242. 

In  Montfaucon's  Antiquities,  Y.  II.  fronting  p.  276,  is  the  £gure  of  a  bass 
relief,  found  at  Autun,  representing  the  Arch-Druid  bearing  his  sceptre,  and 
crowned  with  a  garland  of  oak  leaves,  whilst  another  Druid  approaches,  and 
displays  a  crescent  in  his  right  hand, 

t  Eliver  is  sometimes  called  'Eleuvtr,  the  luminary  (W.  Archaiol.  V.  II. 
p.  64).  Gwgawn  Gwrcm,  the  levirely  energetic,  herald  of  mysteries,  is  some- 
times/represented  as  his  son,  and  other  times  as  his  graadssn.  Ibid.  p.  IS. 
and  63. 

t  Ibid.  p.  8,  16,  70. 

§  Camb.  Reg.  V.  II.  p.  313. 

11  W.  Archaiol,  V,  II,  p.  9,  13,  65.  fc. 


of  Erch,  or  Haid,*  the  steed  of  Gwi-thmwl,  the  sovercig0, 
which  carried  Gwair,  and  Clais,  and  Artltanawd,  upon  an 
expedition  against  the  cliflF  of  Maelawr,  in  Cardigan,  to 
avenge  their  father.  It  was  a  sacred  law  with  Maelawr, 
not  to  close  his  port  against  any  load  that  might  arrive:  in 
consequence  of  this,  he  was  slain.j- 

This  sea-horse,  or  ship,  called  a  bee  in  one  dialect,  and  a 
swarm  in  another,  must  be  referred  to  Melissa,  and  her 
Melissae,  or  the  Arkite  goddess  and  her  priesthood. 

Gzerthmwl,  the  sovereign,  was  the  priest  of  an  idol,  or 
sacred  ox,  called  Tarw  Ellyll,  the  bull  demon :%  but  this  bull 
pertained  to  the  Arkite  deity. 

His  residence  v{a.&  a.t  iih&  promontory,  or  insular  mount  of 
Rheonydd,  in  the  North,  where  he  presided  as  chief  elder, 
or  high  priest,  of  one  of  the  regal  tribes,  under  the  mytho- 
logical Arthur.  §  His  castle  was  one  of  the  principal  pa- 
laces, or  temples,  of  that  patriarch  ;,||  and,  in  a  comparatively 
recent  age  of  Christianity,  it  became  the  scite  of  an  archie- 
piscopal  church.^ 

Rheonydd  is,  evidently,  the  same  as  Merddin's  Caer 
Rh'eon  and  Rhyd  RKeon,  once  the  chief  seat  of  his  su- 

•  Irish,  EaTCf  9  iee :  Welsh,  Haid,  a  swarm. 

t  W.  Archaiol,  V.  II.  p.  7,  20,  79. 

t  Ibid.  p.  16, 17,  71. 

§  Ibid.  p.  3,  68. 

II  Ibid.  p.  14,  7J. 

S  Ibid    p.  6». 


perstition,  whence  he  was  routed  by  Ys  €olan,   or  St. 

Hence  it  may  fairly  be  conjectured,  that  this  celebrated 
spot,  the  great  asylum  of  the  Northern  Druids,  was  the 
island  of  Hu,  or  lona,  which  was  occupied  by  the  said 
Columba,  and  in  after-ages  contained  the  metropolitan 
church  of  all  the  Western  islands.  The  early  Christians 
did  often  erect  their  churches  upon  the  ruins  of  heathen 

Mr.  Bryant  is  positively  of  opinion,  from  the  very  names 
of  Cohimbkil  and  lona,  that  this  island  was,  anciently, 
sacred  to  the  Arkite  divinities.  If  I  may  be  permitted  to 
go  upon  similar  grounds,  I  may  remind  the  reader,  that 
the  Britons  did  worship  the  patriarch  by  the  name  of  Tiu ; 
and  that  Taliesin  expressly  denominates.  Mono,  the  great 
sanctuary  of  Arkite  superstition,  Ynys  gzmwd  Hu,  the 
island  of  the  praise  of  Hu ;  and  hence  I  may  infer,  that 
Bede's  island  of  Hu,  at  one  period,  constituted  the  centre 
of  Northern  Druidism. 

From  this  place,  the  sons  of  Gwrthmwl,  the  sovereign, 
the  master  of  the  bull  demon,  proceed  with  their  horse, 
or  sacred  slnp,  and  land  in  South  Wales,  for  the  purpose 
of  avenging  their  father,  or  reinstating  him  in  those  ho- 
nours, which  he  had  partly  lost  during  ^he  Roman  go- 

Amongst  the  heroes  engaged  in  this  expedition,  I  dis- 
tinguish the  name  of  Gwair,  one  of  the  titles  of  the  Di- 
luvian  patriarch.  This  personagie,  and  his  associates,  over- 
come their  adversary,  or  the  humbled  and  more  timid 
superstition,  which  had  hitherto  lingered  in  the  Southern 


piovinces ;  and  they  succeeded  in  replanting  some  mystical 
rites  in  the  territories  of  the  Welsh,  during  the  short  period 
of  British  independence. , 

Thus,  the  history  of  the  three  mythological  horses  is 
referred  to  the  tampering  of  our  Cambrian  progenitors  with 
some  heathenish  superstitions,  which  had  been  cherished 
in  the  North,  beyond  the  line  of  the  Roman  empire :  and 
if  I  may  depend  upon  our  Welsh  chronologMS,  for  the  sera 
of  the  characters  here  introduced,  these  transactions  oc- 
curred after  the  departure  of  the  Romans,  and  a  consider- 
able time  before  Rhydderch,  with  his  princes,  bishops,  and 
monks,  slew  Gwenddoleu  and  his  cannibal  birds,  or  ruined 
the  Northern  establishment  of,  the  Druids. 

Of  th^  consequence  of  the  battle  of  Ardetydd,  we  have 
some  account  in  the  Avallenau,  or  apple-trees,  a  poem,  which 
Mr.  Turner  has  proved  to  be  the  genuine  production  of 
Merddin;  and  which  contains  the  expiring  groans  of  the 
Northern  Druids. 

However  griavous  Merddin's  afflictions  may  have  been, 
for  the  fall  of  his  lord,  Gwenddoleu,  we  find,  that  his  own 
hand  added  greatly  to  their  weight,  by  the  undesigned 
slaughter  of  his  own  sister's*  son,  in  the  same  fatal  en- 

*  That  is,  tkesonoi.Gwenddydd,  thtlidy  of  the  day. 


It  is  difficult  to  ascertain  the  precise  meaning  of  this 
pocft'carincideirt :  but  we  may  suppose  in  general,  that  the 
mystagogue,  in  the  imprudent  defence, of  his  fraternity, 
committed  some  action  which  proved  detrimental  to  its 
cause.  We  are  told,  however,  that  the  effect  of  his  error 
was  a  derangement  of  intellect,  an  abhorence  of  society,  and 
a  precipitate  flight  into  the  forest  of  Caledonia. 

In  this  frantic  mood,  and  after  an  interval  of  many  years, 
he  makes  the  rocks  and  calves  resound,  with  the  melody  of 
his  sti'ain;  in  which  his  derangement  appears  to  have  been 
only  assumed,  for  the  purpose  of  repressing  curiosity :  for 
though  his  descriptions  are  designedly  obscure,  they  have 
too  much  method  for  real  madness.  It  is  the  madness  of  a 
heathen  prophet. 

The  ostensible  purport  of  this  poem  is  a  tribute.of  gratituda 
for  an  orchard,  containing  a  hundred  and  forty-seven  delici- 
ous apple  trees,  which  had  been  privately  exhibited  to  the 
Bard,  by  his  Lord  Gwendolen,  and  which  he  still  carries 
with  him  in  all  his  wanderings. 

This  circumstance,  at  once,  points  out  the  impropriety  of 
understanding  Merddin's  orchard,  in  the  literal  sense,  and 
leads  us  to  some  allegorical  meaning. 

•Many  particulars  of  this  allegory  may  be  interpreted  from 
what  has  gone  before  in  this  essay;  and  it  may  be  admitted 
as  additional  evidence,  of  two  curious  facts :  namely,  that 
the  superstitious  rites  of  Bruidism  were  avowedly  practiced^ 
in  certainxorners  of  Britain,  as  late  as  the  .close  of  the  sixth 
century ;  and  that  the  Bards  of  that  age,  used  all  the  means 
ia  theij:  power,  to  conceal  their  secrets  from  the  knowledge 



«r  the  populace,  to  guard  them  from  the  persecution  of 
Christian  princes  and  ministers,  and  at  the  same  time,  to 
ti-ansmit  them  safe  and  unblemished,  to  future  ages. 

In  support  of  this  assertion,  I  shaU  produce  abstract* 
from  the  several  stanzas  of  the  Avalleium,  translated  as 
literally  as  the  darkness  of  the  subject,  aad  the  faults  of 
the  copies,  will  permit :  and  to  th^se,  I  shall  add  a  few  oc- 
casional remarks*, 

"  To  no  one  has  been  exhibited,  at  one  hour  of  dawn, 
"  what  was  shewn  to  Merddin,  before  he  became  aged; 
"  namely,  seven  score  and  seven  delicious  apple  trees,  of 
"  equal  age,  height,  length,  and  size,  which  sprung  from 
"  the  bosom  of  Mercy.  One  bending  veil  covers  them 
"  over.  They  are  guarded  by  one  maid,  with  crisped  locks: 
**  her  niime  is  Qlwedd,  with  the  luminous  teeth."* 

These  trees  are  147,  which  was  a  sacred  number  amongst 
the  Britons,  as  we  learn  from  Taliesin.-f 

They  were  exhibited  at  the  dawn,  the  hour  when  the 
nocturnal  celebration  of  "mysteries  was  completed.'  The 
Tiew  of  these  trees,  therefore,  implies  the  complete  initiation 
of  the  priest. 

They  were  in  every  respect,  perfect  tallies  with  each  other, 
and  asserted  to  have  been  of  divine  origin.  Hence  we  may 

*  W.  ATchaiol,  p.  ISO. 

+  j4i!gor  Cyinjniawi.     Ibid.  p.  34. 

This  is  lhe.square  of  7,  multiplied  by  the  nijsticaI-3.  The  round  number 
140  often  occurs.  This  is  the  computed  number  of  the  stones,  Trhicb  com- 
^kle4  the  great  temple  upon  Salisbury  pliun. 


gather,  that  one  of  the  secrets  communicated  by  these  trees, 
was  the  Druidical  art  of  divining  by  lots :  and  that  Merd- 
dirt's  Avallen  Beren,  in  this  sense,  corresponded  with  the 
Arbor  Frugifera  of  Tacitus,*  the  shoots  of  which  were  cut 
into  lots  or  tallies,  distinguished  by  energetic  marks,  thrown 
into  a  white  garment,  or  covered  with  a  veil,  and  thus  be- 
came the  means  of  interpreting  the  will  of  heaven. 

These  trees  still  remained  under  their  veil,  and  in  the  cus- 
tody of  the  divine  maid,  Olwedd  or  Olwen — the  British 

But  to  proceed — ' 

"  The  delicious  apple  tree,  with  blossoms  of  pure  white, 
*'  and  wide  spreading  branches,  produces  sweet  apples,  for 
"  those  who  can  digest  them:  And  they  have  always  grown 
"  in  the  wood,  zehich  grows  apart.  The  nymph  who  appears 
"  and  disappears,  vaticinates— words  which  will  come  to 

pass,  &c. 


The  Bard,  having  described  his  trees  in  the  first  Stanza, 
as  exactly  similar  to  each  other,  contents  himself  in  the 
sequel,  with  mentioning  one  of  them.  The  white  blossoms 
seem  to  imply  the  robe  of  the  Druid,  the  spreading  branches, 
his  extentive  authority,   the  fruit,  his  doctrine  and   hopes, 

I  I  2 

•  This  identity  will  appear  more  clearly  in  the  sequel.  If  it  be  said,  that 
Tacitiis  describes  a  German,  and  not  a  Celtic  rite,  I  would  reply,  that  the 
Barditns  or  BardUm,  which  the  Germans  near  the  Rhine,  possessed,  in  the 
days  of  that  historian,  was  probably  a  shread  of  the  Celtic  institute,  which 
had  been  expelled  from  Gaul.  I  do  not  find  that  any  such  term  as  Brnditui 
was  familiar  to  the  Germans  of  Cesar,  or  to  those  of  the  Mda. 


wacl  the  sequestered  wood  vshkh  had  always  prachtced  this 
fruit,  his  sacred  grove. 

Most  of  the  Stansas  conclude  with  a  vaticination  of  some 
great  event,  which  is  here  put  into  the  mouth  of  Chwibhian, 
the  nymph,  or  goddess,  who  is  alteraately  visible  and  in- 
visible, still  meaning  Olwen  or  Proserpine,  who  guarded 
the  sacred  trees,  or  presided  over  the  mysteries. 

In  :l3ie  *hird  Stanza,  Merddin  tells  us,  that  he  had  armed 
himself  with  «word  and  shield,  and  lodged  in  the  Caledo- 
nian wood,  guarding  the  trnvik  of  the  tree,  in  order  to 
gratify  Bun,  the  maid,  Proserpine,  who,  by  way  of  acknow- 
ledgement, calls  to  him  in  the  Northern  dialect — Oian  a 
Phorchellan,  attend  little  pig,  and  bids  him  listen  to  the 
songs  of  the  birds.  The  Bard  complies,  and  learns  the 
secrets  of  futurity, 

Stanza  4,  "  The  sweet  apple  tree  has  pure  white  sprigs, 
"  which  grow,  as  a  portion  for  food.  I  had  rather  en- 
*'  counter  the  wrath  of  a  sovereign,  than  permit  rustics 

in  raven  hue,  to  ascend  its  branches.  The  lady  of  com- 
*'  manding  aspect  is  splendidly  endowed ;  nor  am  I  destitute 
*'  either  of  talents  or  of  emulation," 

The  white  sprigs  could  only  have  furnished  mental  food 
for  the  Bards,  as  constituting  their  lots  and  their  books- 
The  men  in  black  seem  to  .have  been  the  mcnks,.  who  strove 
to  expose  the  secrets  of  Druidism,  whilst  Merddin,  the 
fanatical  devotee  of  the  mystical  goddess,  was  determined 
to  guard  them,  at  the  hazard  of  his  life. 

Stanza^.  "  The  fair  apple  tree  grows  upon  the  bord«  of 



*'  the  vale:  its  yelloze  apples  and  its  leaves,  are  desirable  ob- 
"  jects,  and  even  I  have  been  beloved  by  my  Gwnem,  and 
"  my  zeolf;  but  now  my  complexion  is  faded  by  long 
"  weeping;  I  am  neglected  by  my  former  friends,  and 
"  wander  amongst  spectres  who  know  me  not." 

Thus  pathetically  does  our  mystagogue  deplore^  his  forlorn 
condition,  after  the  ruin  of  his  establishment.  Gwnem 
seems  to  be  a  corruption  of  Gwenyn,  bees,  priestesses,  which 
were  deposited  by  the  mystical  sow;  and  especially  as  they 
are  joined  with  the  wolf,  another  of  her  productions. 

"  Thou  sweet  and  beneficient  tree  1  not  scanty  is  the  fiuit 
"  with  which  thou  art  loaded  ;  but  upon  thy  account,  I  am 
terrified  and  anxious,  lest  the  wood-men  should  come, 
those  prof aners  of  the  wood,  to  dig  up  thy  root,  and  corrupt 
thy  seed,  that  not  an  apple  may  ever  grow  upon  thee 
more."  , 


"  I  am  become  a  wild  distracted  object,  no  longer  greeted 
"  by  the  brethren  of  my  order,  nor  covered  with  my  habit. 
"  Upon  me  Gwenddoleu  freely  bestowed  these  precious 
"  gifts ;  but  he  is,  this  day,  as  if  he  had  never  been." — 
(Stanza  6.) 

"  The  proper  place  of  this  delicate  tree,  i«  within  a  shelter 
"  of  great  renown,  highly  beneficent  and  beautiful;  but 
"  priiices  dfevise  false  pretefnces,  with  lying,  gluttonou&,  and 
"  vicious  monks,  aiid  pert  youilgsters,  rash  in  their  dfe- 
"  signs — these  are  the  aspiring  men  who  will  triuipph  in  the 
"  course." — {Stanza  T.y 

"  Now,  alas,  the  tree  which  avoids  rumour,  grows  upoB 


"  the  confluence  of  streams,  without  the  raised  circle."*-^ 
(Stanza  8.) 

In  these  passages,  we  perceive  the  Bard's  great  anxiety 
to  preserve  his  mystical' lore,  from  the  eifects  of  persecution, 
by  princes,  monks,  and  their  youthful  agents,  who  are  em- 
ployed in  poluting  and  cutting  down  the  sacred  groves,  aad 
demolishing  the  circular  temples.  , 

"  This  sweet  apple  tree -abounds  with  s»za//  shoots;  hut 
"  the  multitude  cannot  taste  its  yellow  fruit" 

"  I  have  been  associated  with  select  men,  to  cultivate  and 
"  cherish  its  trunk— and  when  Dyvnant  shall  be  named^ 
"  the  city  of  the  stones,  the  Bard  shall  receive  his  per-. 

"  quisite." — > 

*'  Incorruptible  is  the  tree  which  grows  in  the  spot,  set  , 
"  apart  (the  sanctuary)  under  its  wide  envelope.     For  four 
"  hundred  years  may  it  remain  in  peace!  But  its  root  is 
"  oftener  surrounded  by  the  violating  wolf,  than  by  the 
"  youth  who  can  enjoy  its  fruit." — 

"  This  tree  they  would  fain  expose  to  public  view :  so 
*'  the  drops  of  water  would  fain  wet  the  duck's  feather."— 
{Stanza  Q,  10,  llO 

Here  the  fanatical  priest  cherishes  a  hope,  that  his  Druid-i 
ism,  and  his  temples,  will  be  re-established  in  some  future 
age,  though  he  has  at  present,  more  persecutors  than  dis- 

f  In  ataotlier  copy—"  On  the  hrow  of  a  rock,  without  a  stoni  in  its  meh. 


ciples.  In  mentioning  the  400  years,  he  seems  to  have  a 
retrospect  to  the  period  of  the  Roman  government,  during 
which,  liis  superstition  had  already  weathered  the  storm  of 
persecution,  and  therefore,  as  tjie  Bard  infers,  it  may  sur- 
vive another  calamity  of  four  centuries. 

Stanza  13.  "  The  fair  tree  grows  in  the  glade  of  the 
"  wood. — Its  hiding  place  has  no  skilful  protector  from  the 
*'  chiefs  of  Rhydderch,  who  trample  on  its  roots,  whilst  the 
"  multitude  compass  it  round.  The  energetic  figures  are 
"  viewed  with  grief  and  envy.  The  Lady  of  the  Day  loves 
"  me  not,  nor  will  she  greet  me.  I  am  hated  by  the  mi~ 
"  nister  of  Rhydderch's  authority — his  son  and  his  daughter 
"  have  I  ruined.  Death  who  removes  all,  why  will  he  not 
"  visit  me !  After  the  loss  of  Gwenddolen,*  the  lady  of  the 
"  [white  bow,  by  no  nymph  am  I  respected.  No  soother 
"  amuses  my  grief:  by  no  mistress  am  I  visited.  Yet^  in 
"  the  conflict  of  Arderydd,  I  wore  the  gold  collar.  Oh 
*'  that  I  were  precious,  this  day,  with  those  who  have  the^ 
*'  hue  of  the  swan,  (the  white  robed  Druids !)" 

Stanza  14.  "  The  tree  with  delicate  blossoms,  grows 
"  in  concealment  amongst  the  forests.  A  report  is  heard 
"  at  the  dawn,  that  the  minister  has  expressed  his  indig- 
"  nation  against  the  authority  of  the  small  sprigs  f,  twice, 
"  thrice,  nay  four  times,  in  one  day." — 

Stanza  15.  "  The  fair  tree  grows  on  the  bank  of  at  river.. 

•  Gwenddolen,  was  the  mystical  daughter  of  an  ancient  ling  of  Cornwall, 
She  may  represent  in  general,  the  Cornish  rites ;  but  I  think,  more  particu- 
larly, the  Lunar  dimnity.  Tims  she  Answers  lo  Gwenddoleu,  who  represeatsd 
the  sun.  «..-»' 

+  This  surely  alludes  to  the  practice  of  dwining  by  lots. 


"  A  provost  cannot  thrive  on  the  splendid  fruit  which  I 
"  enjoyed  from  its  trunk,  whilst  my  reason  was  entire,  in 
**  company  with  Bun,  the  maid,  elegantly  pleasing,  deli- 
"  cate  and  most  beautiful.  But  now,  for  fifty  yean,  haw 
"  my  splendid  treasures  been  outlawed,  whilst  I  have  been 
"  wandering  amongst  ghosts  and  spectres,  after  having 
"  enjoyed  abimdant  affluence,  and  the  pleasant  society  of 
<'  the  tuneful  tribe," 

Stanza  16.  "  The  sweet  apple  tree,  with  delicate  blos- 
"  soms,  grows  upon  the  sod,  amongst  the  trees  :  and  the 
"  half  appearing  maid  predicts — words  which  wiU  come  to 
*'  pass ! — Mental  design  shall  cover,  as  with  a  vessel,  the 
"  green  assemblies,  from  the  princes,  in  the  beginning  of  the 
"  tempestuous  hour, — The  Darter  of  Rays  shall  vanquish  th^ 
"  profane  mrni.  Before  the  child  of  the  sun,  bold  in  his 
"  courses,  Saxons  shall  be  eradicated:  Bards  shall  flourish" 

This  prophecy,  which  is  put  into  the  mouth  of  Proserpine, 
imequivocally  charges  the  Bards  of  Merddin's  order,  with 
the  abomination  of  solar  worship;  The  child  of  the  Sun 
must  have  been  his  priest,  who,  like  Taliesin,  assumed  his 
title  and  character, — 

"  The  blooming  tree  grows  in  Hidlock,  in  the  Caledonian 
"  wood.    The  attempts  to  discover  it,  by  its  seeds,  will  be 

all  in  vain,  till  Cadwaladyr,  the  supreme  ruler  of  battle, 
"  comes  to  the  conference  of  Cadvaon,  with  the  eagle  of 
"  the  Towy,  and  the  Teivi — till  ranks  be  formed  of  the 
*'  white  ones  of  the  lofty  mount,  and  the  wearers  of  Jong. 
"  hair  be  divided  into  the  gentle  and  the^erce." 


"  The  sweet  fruits  of  this  tree  are  prisoners  of  'words,—™ 
"  The  ASS  will  arise,  to  remove  men  out  of  office;  but  tlijs 


"  I  know,  an  eagle  from  the  sJcy  will  play  with  his  men, 
"  and  bitter  will  be  the  sound  of  Ywein's  arms. — A  veil 
"  covers  the  tree  with  green  branches — and  I  will  foretel 
"  the  harvest  when  the  green  com  shall  be  cropped — when 
"  the  he  eagle  and  the  she  eagle  shall  arrive  from  France."* 
—{Stama  17,  l8',  19). 

"  The  sweet  apple  tree  is  like  the  Bardic  mount  of  as- 
"  sembly :  the  dogs  of  the  wood  will  protect  the  cir(;k  of  its 
"  roots."— 

"  Sweet  are  its  branches,  budding  luxuriant,  shooting 
*'  foxth  renowned  scions." — {Stanza  QO,  21.) 

Concluding  Stanza.  "  The  sweet  apple  tree,  producing. 
"  the  most  delicious  fruit,  grows  in  concealment  in  the 
"  Caledonian  wood.  In  vain  will  it  be  sought  upon  the 
"  bank  of  its  stream,  till  Cadwaladyr  comes  to  the  con- 
"  feyence  of  Uhyd  Jtheon,  with  Kyrian,  opposing  the  tu- 
^'  mult  of  the  Saxoiis,  Then  Cymru  shall  prevail.  Her 
"  chief  shall  be  splendid.  AH  shall  have  their  just  reward. 
*'  Britons  shall  rejoice.  The  horns  of  joy  shall  sound — the 
"  song  of  peace  and  serenity ."-{• 

Such  are  the  seemingly  wild  hints,  which  Merddin  has 
thought  proper  to  communicate  upon  the  subject  of  hi? 

*  Merddin  is  foreboding  th^  restoration  of  his  Lord  Gwenddoleu's  canibjtl 
Uglet,  ' 

+  This  triumphant  close  very  mucli  resembles  that  of  Cadair  Talietin,  Cadair 
Ceridweit,  and  several  other  mystical  poemc.  This  seems  to  have  been  the 
style  of  the  Bards,  at  the  completion  of  their  diluvian  mysteries  in  comnie* 
ffioration  of  the  reCuruing  season  of  serenity. 


apple  trees,   and  which,  undoubtedly,  were  agreeable  to 
the  mystical  lore  of  his  order. 

These  trees,  we  find,  were  allegorical,  and  pointed  to 
that  mass  of  superstition,  which  the  Bards  of  the  sixth  cen- 
tury had  retained,  and  which  they  were  desirous  of  conceal- 
ing, presening,  and  transmitting  safdy  to  posterity.  The 
Christian  princes  and  ministers,  who  diligently  sought  for 
the  mystical  orchard,  for  the  avpwed  purpose  of  destroying 
it,  root  and  branch,  could  have  viewed  it  in  no  other 


But  though,  under  this  type,  the  general  system  of  Dru- 
idism  may  be  represented ;  yet  I  am  induced  to  conclude, 
from  many  circumstances  which  I  need  not  recapitulate, 
that  these  trees,  more  particularly  refer  to  the  practice  of 
sortilege,  and  have  a  marked  connexion  with  the  Coelbreni, 
Omen  sticks,  lots  or  letters  of  the  Bards.* 

As  Mtrddin  was  the  most  recent  character,  deemed  by 
his  fraternity,  to  have  possessed  the  gift  of  prophecy,  his  ora-r 
cles  were  never  superseded,  during  the  long  ages  of  supersti- 
tion :  but  when  new  predictions  were  demanded  for  political 
purposes,  the  succeeding  Bards  thought  it  most  expedient, 
either  to  interpolate  the  Hoianau,-\  or  to  make  the  prophet 
speak  out  of  his  grave.  J 

•  That  Merddin  used  tliem  as  means  of  divination,  may  be  further  inferred 
from  hence  ;  in  most  of  the  stanzas,  a  prediction  of  some  great  event  is  imme- 
diately subjoined  to  tlie  contemplation  of  these  mystical  ttees. 

These  predictions,  of  which  I  have  inserted  a  specimen  or  twoj  are  some- 
times delivered  by  the  Bard  himself;  at  other  times,  they  are  put  into  the 
mouth  of  the  guardian  goddess,  who  Las  the  property  of  alternately  appearing 
and  disappearing. 

+  W.  Archaiol,  p.  135. 
%  Ibid.  p.  132. 


The  vaticinations  of  our  ancient  priest,  are  not  much  cal- 
culated to  derive  credit  to  his  order;  from  the  present  age; 
T)ut  the  absurdity  of  his  pretentions  was  not  peculiar  to 
the  Celtffi.  Odin,  as  well  as  Merddin,  was  deemed  a  prophet, 
and  Partridge  and  Moore  were  renowned  Gothic  Seers,  of 
more  recent  days.  Both  in  their  nature,  and  in  the  fate 
which  attended  them,  the  predictions  of  our  Caledonian 
Druid,  seem  to  have  resembled  the  celebrated  lots,  or  oracles 
of  Musaius,  which  are  mentioned,  and  obliquely  quoted  by 
Herodotus.  These  were  in  such  high  credit  amongst  Greeks 
and  Barbarians,  that  men  of  rank  and  talents  thought 
them  worth  interpolating,  for  political  purposes.  But  the 
Athenians  deemed  the  crime  worthy  of  banishment;  and 
with  good  reason :  the  sacred  predictions  had  an  authority 
which  could  embolden  foreign  princes  to  invade  their 

When  we  have  once  closed  the  poems  of  Merddin  the 
Caledonian,  we  hear  no  more  of  the  Druidism  of  the  North. 
Of  the  countenance  which  this  ancient  superstition  expe- 
rienced amongst  the  Welsh,  for  seme  centuries  longer ;  and 
of  the  documents  which  their  poetry  and  traditions  furnish 
upon  the  subject,  I  have  endeavoured  to  give  a  fair  and 
impartial  account,  in  the  present  essay,  which  it  is  no* 
time  to  bring  to  a  conclusion.^  It  is  hoped,  that  the  general 
view  here  presented,  will  not  be  deemed  superfluous  in  a 

•  See  Herodot,  L.  VII.  C,  6- 


Britisli  library,  and  that  the  cause  of  true  religion  cannot 
he  injured  by  this  delineation  of  the  gloomy  mazes  of 

I  shall  take  a  brief  retrospect  of  what  I  have  written,  and 
add  a  few  general  reflections. 

I  have  shewn,  that  the  Bards  pretend  to  the  preservation  of 
the  mystical  lore  of  the  Druids ;  and  that  a  comparison  of 
their  works,  with  the  documents  of  classical  antiquity,  con- 
firms the  authenticity  of  their  pretentions. 

From  the  barren,  or  desolated  field  of  Bardic  philosophy, 
I  hastened  to  the  consideration  of  religious  doctrines  and 
rites  ;  and  here  I  have  shewn,  that  the  superstition  of  the 
ancient  Britons  consisted  of  two  principal  branches,  inti- 
mately blended  together. 

-  One  of  these  was  [Mr:  Bryant's  Arkite  Theology,  which 
embraced  some  memorials  of  the  history  of  the  delugS, 
together  with  an  idolatrous  commemoration  of  Noah,  of 
his  family,  and  of  his  sacred  ship. 

'ihe  oXfaox  vi3i5  Sahian  idolatry,  orthe  vrorship'of  the,  host 
of  heaven,  a  superstition,  which  in  many  other  countries, 
has  existed  in  conjunction  with  Arkite  theology.  ' 

It  has  been  remarked,  that  the  Britons  constantly  inter- 
weave the  memorials  of  the  deluge,  with  their  reniotest 
traditions  of  the  origin  of  the  country   and  the  natioai 


•*vhence  arose  an  inference,  that  this:  was  thai  superstition 
of  the  earUest  settlei-g  in  Britain,  and  the  degenerate  off- 
spring of  the  patriarchal  religion,  which  our  ancestors  de- 
rived from  the  great  stock  of  the  Noachidae. 

On  the  contrary,  it  was  shewn,  that  British  tradition 
clearly  discriminates,  and  steadily  reports  the  worship  of 
the  sun  and  moon,  as  an  innovation,  which  found  its  way 
into  Cornwall,  and  from  thence  diffused*  itself  into  various 
parts  of  the  British  islands ;  and  hence,  I  judged  it  a  rea- 
jBonable  conjecture,  that  this  alloy  was  .derived  from  the 
iin  mei-chaats  of  Phoenicia,  in  whose  country,  a  similar 
.superstition  confessedly  prevailed.. 

From  this  analysis  it  appears,  that  the  religion  of  the 
Britons  differed  from  that  of  most  heathen  nations,  only 
AS  a  variety  in  the  same  species :  that  it  presented  no  funda- 
mental principle  which  can  be  accounted  peculiar.  Its 
two  main  ^branqhes,  the  Arkite  and  the  Sabian,  have  been 
iCleaxly  traced,  and  in  the  same  connexion,  over  great  part 
of  the  ancient  world. 

This  intimate,  and  alnipst  universal  combination  of  two 
systems,  which  have  no  obvious  relation  to  each  other,  I 
cannot  contemplate,  without  searching  for  some  early  cause 
of  such  connexion.  Why  should  Noah  be  the  sun  f  or  why 
should  the  Arkite  goddess  be  the  moon  ?  This  is  not  the  place 
for  a  new  disquisition;  but  I  may  be  allowed  briefly  to 
state  a  conjecture. 

The  righteous  Noah  and  his  family,  who  had  been  dis- 
tinguished by  a  Supreme  Providence,  and  miraculously 
preserved  amidst  a  perishing  world,  must  have  been  highly 
and  justly  reverenced,   by  their  pious  and  obedient  chil- 


dren,  whilst  living,  their  prayers  were  besought,  and  their 
precepts  received,  as  the  oracles  of  heaven. 

After  their  death,  their  memory  was  revered,  and  a 
growing  superstition  may  have  begun  to  involte  these  un- 
doubted favourites  of  heaven,  as  mediators  with  the  su- 
preme being  (just  so  the  saints  of  the  Roman  church  are 
invoked),  and  at  last  proceeded  to  worship  them  as  gods. 

The  ark,  also,  was  the  means  of  preservation  to  the 
righteous.  Its  figure  may  have  been  consecrated,  as  a  refr 
gious  memorial  of  that  preservation,  till  superstition  began 
to  view  it  as  a  pledge  of  safety,-  and  to  put  it  under  the 
charge  of  an  ideal  being,  who  was  worshipped  as  the  uni- 
versal mother. 

Thus,  the  Arkite  theology  may  have  sprang  from  a  cor- 
ruption of  the  patriarchal  religion ;  and  in  a  manner  which 
would  not  set  the  vain  imaginations  of  man  in  immediate  and 
open  hostility  with  his  fallible  reason. 


As  to  the  incorporation  of  Sabian  idolatry  with  this  su- 
perstition, when  I  recollect,  that  amongst  the  heathrai  Bri- 
tons, the  sacred  ship,  or  ark,  the  zodiac  and  the  circular 
-temple,  had  equally  the  name  of  Caer  Sidi,  I  cannot  help 
surmising,  that  the  confusion  arose  from  an  abuse  of  the 
earliest  post-diluvian  astronomy. 

Whether  that  science  revived  in  Ararat  or  Chaldea,  it 
was  its  evident  design,  to  commemorate  the  history  and  cir- 
cumstances of  the  deluge,  in  the  dispositioti  of  sigrts  and  con- 
stellations. This  device  may  have  sprung  from  an  innocent, 
or  even  laudable  motive. 


But  from  henceforth,  the  heavens  represented  those  very 
scenes,  with  Avhich  Noah  and  his  sons  had  heen  conversant. 
These  canonized  patriarchs  were  acknowledged  to  he  im- 
mortal :  for  the  age  yfhich first  paid  religious  homage  to  the 
deceased,  must  of  course  have  admitted  the  immortality  of 
the  soul,  and  the  doctrine  oi  future  rewards. 

The  unbridled  imagination  of  man  no  sooner  contem- 
plated the  sun,  moon,  and  planets,  expatiating  amongst  the 
heavenly  mansions  of  these  immortals,  than  it  also  began 
to  regard  them  as  emblems  of  their  persons,  and  of  their 
sacred  vessel;  and  therefore  as  mediators  between  the  hu- 
man race,  and  the  unknown  and  great  Supreme.  Thug, 
the  Arkite  and  the  Sabian  idolatry  became  one  and  the 

This  union  seems  not  to  have  been  coeval  with  the  ear- 
liest Arkite  ^perstition  of  the  Noachidse.  Hence  the  tra- 
■  ditions  of  the  Greeks  and  other  nations  relative  to  the 
persecution  of  Latona  and  her  children,  of  Hercules,  Bac- 
chus, and  other  <!4laracters  which  implied  an  adoration  of 
the  host  of  heaven.  They  were  admitted,  with  reluctance, 
to  the  rank  of  gods.  Mankind  adopted  the  practice  of 
Sabian  idolatry,  with  an  avowed  consciousness,  that  they 
were  departing  from  the  principles  of  their  forefathers. 

That  the  heathen  Britons  felt  this  consciousness,  we  have 
had  abundant  proof.  It  may  also  be  urged,  from  their  own 
traditions  and  acknowledgements,  that  their  Arkite  super- 
stition was  a  manifest  corruption  of  better  principles. 

-They  had  become  so  gross  in  their  ideas,  as  to  worship 
JIu  the  Mighty,  or  the  patriarch,  as  a  god.  Yet  they  had  not 
absolutely  forgotten  his  true  history.    The  Triads  view  him 


as  a  righteous  man,  aiid  ascribe  to  hiiii  the  actions  of  s 
man.  Taliesin  says  of  him  and  his  family—"  The  just 
"  ones  toiled :  on  the  sea  which  had  no  laijd,  long  did  they 
"  dwell :  of  their  integrity  it  was,  that  they  did  not  endure 
"  the  extremity  of  distress."  * 

If  they  were  preserved  for  their  infegrUy,  it  must  have 
been  by  some  superintending  power:  and  this  power  is 
acknowledged  by  the  same  Bard,  in  his  song  upon  Dylan, 
where  we  find,  that  "  A  sole  supreme  God,  most  wise  un- 
"  folder  of  secrets,  most  beneficent,"  had  destroyed  a  pro- 
jfligate  world,  and  preserved  the  lighteous  patriarch.  And^ 
again :  the  sovereign,  the  supreme  ruler  of  the  land,  extended 
his  dominion  over  the  shores  of  the  world,  or  destroyed  it  by 
the  deluge;  but,  at  the  same  time,- preserved  the  inclosure  of 
the  righteous  patriarch  in  perfect  security,  f 

So  that  the  great  Diluvian  god,  who  was  worshipped 
under  the  symbol  of  the  bull  and  the  dragon,  and  who  was 
even  identified  with  the  luminary  of  the  material  heavens, 
is  acknowledged  to  have  been  no  othei»ihan  a  saint  of  the 
most  high. 

If  such  principles  were  admitted  by  heathens,  when  they 
came  to  the  candid  avowal  of  the  truth,  wherein  did  the 
great  heinousness  of  heathenism#  and  its  votaries,  consist? 

Not  in  an  absolute  ignorance  of  a  great  First  Cause,  and 
of  his  superintending  Providence,  but  in  giving  his  glory 
to  another,  and  in  acting  against  those  better  principles, 
which  their  own  minds  could  not  but  acknowledge. 

' — ■  ■    III'    ,  „    i' — I  I     I     .1  ' 

*  Appendix,  No.  10. 
t  Appeadix,  No,  S. 


"  Because  that  which  may  be  known  of  God,  is  manifest 
•'  to  them,  for  God  hath  shewed  it  unlo  them.  For  thei 
"  invisible  thing's  of  him,  from  the  creation  of  th^  wbrid,'are 
"  clearly  seen,  being  anderstood  by  the  things  that  are  made> 
"  even  his  eternal  power  and  Godhead;  50  that  they  are 
"  without  excuse :  because  that,  when  they  knew  God,  they 
"  gldrified  him  not,  as  God,  neither  were  thankful ;  but 
"  became  vain  in  their  imaginations,  and  their  foolish  heart 
"  was  darkened. 

"  Professing  themselves  to  be  wise,  they  became  fools, 
"  and  changed  the  glory  of  the  incorruptible  God  into  an 
"  image,  made  like  to  corruptible  man,  and  to  birds,  and 
*'  four-footed  beasts,  and  creeping  thingS'~T^who  changed  the 
"  truth  of  God  into  a  lie,  and  Worshipped  and  served  the 
*'  creature,  more  than  the  Creator,  who  is  blessed  for  ever."* 

Such  is  the  view  of  this  subject,  communicated  by  a 
true  philosopher,  a  good  antiquary,  and  no  mean  scholar. 

The  human  mind  is  prone  to  sOch  woful  lapses,  when  it 
gives  way  to  v?Ga  imagination  and  self-conceit — to  the 
opinions  oi  fallible,  or  the  views  of  designing  men. 

Thus,  Druidism  Was  removed  but  a  few  paces  further  from 
the  rdigion  of  Noah,  than  popery,  and  some  other  modes  of 
worship,  denominated  Christian,  are  departed  from  the  faith, 
the  purity,  and  the  simplicity  of  the  gospel.  Wherefore  it 
behoves  all  men,  who  build  their  hopes  upon  the  religion  of 
Christ,  not  to  place  an  implicit  confidence  in  the  practice 
of  a  corrupt  age,  or  in  the  principles  of  an  arfbgant  and 
presumptuous  teacher;  but  to  have  a  constant  eye  to  the 
foundation  once  laid  by  the  apostles  and  prophets.   , 

K  K 

•  St.  Paul's  Epistl*  to  the  Romans,  Chap,  I, 


Here  another  rematlt  of  some  iffiportaflce  offers  itse^. 

As  Gentilisai  arose  from  a  corruption  oT  the  patriarchal 
religion,  it  is  reasoaahle  to  suppose  that  amongst  a  multi- 
plicity of  errors  and  absurditi«s,  it  preserve^  liOUJe  tiwctju* 
of  the  venerable  source  from  whence  at  sprung :  in  the 
same  manner  as  popery  is  acknowledge^^  s^til  to, possess 
some  of  the  genuine  forms  and  traiets  of  primitive  Chris- 
itianity;  and  a  diligent  comparison  of  heatheji  systems  ^ith 
the  hook  of  Job,  and  the  first  book  of  Moses,  wiU -evince 
that  this  was  actually  the  case. 

Whatever  Gentilism  had  thus  preseJved  without  corrkip- 
tion,  must' be  regarded  as  derived-  from  the  fevelatron^ 
vouchsafed  to  the  patriarchs,  and  therefore,  in  its  origin, 
of  Divine  authority,  like  those  uacorr«pt«sdr.  forms  and 
tenets  in  popery,  wHich  are  derived  from  the  truth  of  the 

We  are  not,  therefore,  to  conclude,  a  priori,  thateye^-y 
form  of  sacrifice,  every  rite  of  purification,  every  sacred 
symbol,  or  even  every  fundamental  doctrine,  which  may 
have  prevailed  amongst  the  ancient  heathens,  was  of  hd- 
man  device,  and  therefore  could  have  nothing  similM^,;to 
it  in  the  revealed  will  and  ordinances  of  the.  Sapreme 
Being.  For  this  mode  of  argupient , would  lead  us. to 
conclusions,  as  unjust  as  the  cavils  of  those  scrupulous 
persons,  who  assert,  that  the  church  of  Englatiid  must  Ije 
superstitious,  because  it  retains  some  of  the  forms  of  tl^e 
church  of  jRowze.  i 

As  this  church  has  retained  somejsi  the  institutea  of  true 
Christianity,  so  Gentilism  had  not  lost  every  institute  of 
the  patriarchal  religion:  and  these  uncorrupted  institutes 
are  piiffe  and  sacred,  notwithstanding- the  general  corruption 
of  the  channels  through  which  thejt  have  flowed. 


Upon  this  ground,  we  may  frame  an  answer  to  tlJose 
edversaries  of  revelation,  who  having  observed,  that  some 
modes  of  sacr^e,  some  rites  of,  purification,  some  sacred 
symbols,  and  many  other  particulars,  sanctioned  in  the 
■writings  of  "Moses  and  the  prophets,  have  their  parallel  in 
tJie  religion  of  Egypt,  Syria,  or  Chaldea,  boldly  assert, 
that  these  things  were  adopted  from  the  heathens,  and,  con- 
sequently, that  the  writings  of  the  Old  Testament^  and 
the  religion  of  the  Jews,  could  not  have  been  of  Pivine 

The  answer  is  ready.  As  God  had  revealed  his  will, 
and  instituted  a  form  of  worship,  by  the  prophets  of  the 
primitive  world,  Adam,  Enoch,  and  Noah^  so,  when  the 
primitive  religion  was  corrupted  by  the  vanity  and  wicked- 
ness of  mankind,  he  renewed  this  revelation  to  the  Israelites 
by  Moses,  and  the  prophets  of  the  Old  Testament. 

That  Spirit,  which  has  neither  variableness  nor  shadow 
df  turning,  again  inculcated  to  his  chosen  people  the'  same 
expectation  of  the  promised  Redeemer,  figured  out  by  the 
same  symbolical  types,  which  had  been  communicated  to  the 
patriarchs.  And  as  the  Gentiles  also  had  retained  some 
vestiges  of  the  true  primitive  religion,  an  occasional  analogy 
between  their  forms  and  symbols,  and  those  of  the  Israelites, 
was  a  consequence  that  necessarily  followed. 

As  certain  rites  and  symbols  were  Enjoined  to  the  Is- 
Taelitesj  not  because  they  were  heaithenish,  but  because 
they  were  patriarchal,  and  of  divine  institution,  so  they 
•were  not  omitted,  in  consequence  of  the  mere  accident,  that 
the  Gentiles  had  retained  them. 

The  word  of  God,  that  word,  of  which  every  jot  and  tittli 
must  be  fulfilled,  never  turns  to  the  right  hand,  nor  to  the 
left — never  gives  way  to  the  error,  or  the  petulence  of  man. 

K  K  2 


-from  the  general- and  unequivocal  vestiges 'of  j^rftiVe 
mythology,  which  were  impressed  upon  the  hieathen  worlds 
some  otlier  important  inferences  may  be  drawn. 

.  As  the  united  voice  of  the  early  ages,  they  forcibly,  recal 
the  candid  sceptic,  if  such  there  be,  to  the  acknowledgment 
of  the  true,  that  is,  the  scriptural  account  of  the  delug^ 
and  the  consequent  rejection  of  all  those  astronomical  and 
geological  fables,  which,  plunge  the  origin  of  mankind 
into  the  abyss  of  unfathomable  antiquity,  and  thus  open 
the  gap  into  the  regions  of  darkness,  and  infidel  delusion. 
Xet  reason  only  Jbe  consistent  with  itself,  in  exploring  even 
the  history  of  heathenisni,vand  it  must  ackaowledgie  thg 
truth  of  our  sapied  oracles. 

The  general  voice  of  mythology,  to  which  I  maj  now 
add  that  of  the  sequestered  Briton,  admits,  that  the  per- 
sonage who  escaped  in- his  bark  from  the  great  deluge,  was 
distinguished  from  the  mass  of  perishing  mortals  by  a  di- 
vine providence,  and  miraculously  preserved,  on  account  of 
liis  piety  and  righteousness. 

This  attestation  to  the  character  of  the  great  patriarch, 
.atidfrom  the  mouth  of  heathenism  itself,  not  only  asseris  tfeje 
authenticity  of  his  history,  but  also  the  truth  of,  his  reli- 
gion, as  a  man  whose  faith  and  conduct  were  eminently 
approved  by  heaven.  And  this  religion  regarded  man  as 
-morally  nesiporisible  to  one  supreme  and  •Over-ruUng  God, 
•who  mercifully  accepted  the  offerings  and  the  pei"sons -of 
•those  w|io  sincerely  obeyed  him,  and  pardoned  their  cS- 
jfences,  through  the  inerits  of  a  Redeemer,  announced  to 
our  first  parents.  .      • 

,  A  P  F  E  N  B  I  X, 

coNsiSTiNo  or 





TO    WHICH    ARE    ADDED, ,  ^ 


UPON  • 


J.  HESE  poems  and  extracts  from  the  ancient  Bards,' 
lieing  i%strative  of  the  several  subjects  discussed  in  the' 
preceding  Essay,  are  subjoined  with  the  originals  at  large, 
for  the  satisfaction  of  the  antiquarian  reader. 

No.  I. 

JL  Song  of  Taliesin,  concerning  the  Sons  of  Ll^r.* 

Golychaf  i  Gulwydd,  Arglwydd  pob  echen, 
Arbennig  torfoedd  ynhyoedd  am  Ordden, 
Ceint  yn  ysp^'ddawd,  uch  gwirawd  aflawen:. 
Ceint  rhag  meibion  Jilyr,  yn  ebyr  Hen,  Felen^ 
Gweleis  treis  trydar  ac  afar  ac  anghen : 
Yd  lethrynt  la.fnawr  ar  bennawr  disgywen 

*  W.  Archaiol.  p.  66.     Lhfr  implies  the  sea,  or  the  sea-beach.    Tliis  name 
'  t%s  a  co^tant  reference  to  the  rites  of  the  .I)ilj>vian  god-    .It  .has  been  con- 
ferred upon  his  priests  and  eminent  votaries.    The  sons  of  Lhjr  may  denatSt . 
%n  gentital,  those  who  had  been  initiated  in  the  Hiysteries  of  the  Pruids. 


502  APPENDIX.  No.  I. 

Ceinl  rhag  Udd  Clodeu,  yn  noleu  Hafren; 
Rhag  Brochwel  Powys,  a  garwys  fy  awen. 
Ceint  yn  addfwyn  rodle,  ym  more,  rhag  Urien  ; 
Yn  ewydd  am  an  traed  gwaed  ar  ddi'en. 
Neud  amug  ynghadeir  6  heir  Ceridwen ! 
Hand  id  rydd  fy  nhafawd, 

Yn  addawd  gwawd  Ogyrvven. 

I  will  adore  the  love-diffhsing  Lord*  of  every  kindred, 
the  sovereign  of  hosts  and  powers,  round  the  universe. 

There  has  been  a  battle  f  at  the  feast,  over  the  joyless 
Iseverage — a  battle  against  the  sons  of  Llyr,  at  the  outlets 
of  Hgn  Velen. 

I  saw  the  oppressipn  of  tumult,  and  wrath,  and  tribu- 
lation, when  the  blades  gleamed  on  the  glittering  helmets 
in  battle,  against  the  Lord  of  Fame,  in  the  dales  of  tlie 
Severn  —  against  Brochwel  J  of  Powys,  who  loved  my 

There  was  a  battle  in  the  glorious  course,  before  Urien,§ 
with  the  dawn:  blood  flowed  in  streams  roimd  our  feet, 
when  death  prevailed. 

Is  not  my  chair  protected  by  the  cauldron  of  Ceridwen !  || 

*  The  Bard  speaks  of  one  supreme  God,  as  acknowledged  by  the  ancie&t 
Sraids,  together  with  their  subordinate  divinities,  Ceridwen,  Elphin,  &c.  whoae 
names  occur  in  this  poem. 

+  Of  the  three  battles  here  mentioned,  the  first.  naine]y,.that  against  the  sons 
of  Llyr,  or  the  Bards,  at  the/eas<  seems  to  have  been  the  same  which  toolt  place 
in  the  avenues  or  outlets  of  Stonehenge,  which  is  here  called  Hen,  Velen,  the 
eld  Belenium,  or  temple  of  Apollo. — See  the  songs  of  the  Gododin. 

I  Brochwel  was  prince  of  the  country,  about  the  dales  of  the  Severn,  in 
the  sixth  century.  In  his  old  age,  he  commanded  the  Britons  in  th6  merao< 
rable  battle  of  Chester,  A.  D.  603. 

V  ^  j^°  °^  Reged,  a  warlike  prince  of  the  sixth  century.  Hisyfarae  is  ce- 
lebrated m  many  songs  of  Taliesin,  and  his  death  lamented  by  Llywargh 

II  The  cauldron,  and  the  sanctuary  of  Cttithven,  have  betn  considered, 

Stct.  3  and  4. 

No.  I.  APPENDIX,  |03 

Therefore,  let  my  tongue  be  free,  in  tlie  sanctuary  of  the, 
praise  of  the  goddess. 


Gwawd  Ogyrwen  Uferen  rwy  ddigones 

Arnunt,  a  llefrith  a  gwlith  a  m^s. 

Ystyriem  yn  Uwyr,  cyn  clwyr  cyffeS, 

Dyfod  yn  ddiheu  angheu  nSs  n§s : 

Ac  am  diredd  Enlli  dy  vi  dylles ; 

Dyrchavvr  Uong^wr ,ar  glawr  ^ches. 

A  galwn  ar  y  gwr  a'n  digones, 

A'b  nothwy  vhagigwyth  Uwyth  anghes. 

Pan  alweif  ynys'Von  tirion  vaes,         , 

Gwyn  eu  byd  hwy'gwleiddiori  Saeson  artriSs.   , 

The  praise  of  the  goddess  is  a  mas$,*  which  has  com- 
pletely atoned  for  them,  with  new  milk,  and  dew,  an6 


.  Xet  us  porider  deeply,  before  confession  is  heard,  that 
^eatl\is  evidently  approaching  nearer  and  nearer,  and  tha* 
tor  the  lands  of  Bardsey,f  there  will  be  an  inroad. — A  fleet 
shall  rise  on  the  face  of  the  water.  Let  us  then  call  upon 
ism  whom  we  have  found  sufficient,  that  he  may  prote(^ 
MS  from  the  wrath  of  the  alien  race. 

—  When_the  Isle  of  Mona  shall  be  called  a  pleasant  field,  J 
then  happy  the  lot  of  the  meek  ^nation,  whom  the  Saxons 

•  Of  ohlation,  in  behalf  of  the  fallen  wauiors. 

In  this  passage,  we  may  remark  the  bigotry  with  which  the  Bards  continued 

to  honour  the  imaginary  gods  of  their  forefathers,  notwithstanding  they  ac- 

•  knowledged  the  being  of  one  love-diffusing  Lord  of  the  universe.    Are  there  not 

Nominal  Chrrstians  in  the  present^  day,   chargeable  with  practices  no  (ess 

absurd  or  impious ! 

f  It  appears  from  several  passages,  that  this  spot,  as  well  iis  Mona,  was 
sacred  to  the  ancient  superslitioh.   ;  ,,     ,   ,, 

,  }  Thus  Merddin,  the  Caledonian,  in  his  Avallennau. — '•  When  I'yvnaRt 
*''  shall  be  named  the  eily  of  stones;  the  Bard  shall  receive  his  perquisite," 

504  APPENDIX.  No.  L 


Doddwyf  Deganhxvy  i  amryson 
A  Maelgwn,  mwyaf  ei  achwyson : 
EUyngais  fy  Arglwydd,  yngwydd  Deon; 
Elphin  Pendefig,  ri  hodigion. 
Yssid  imi  deir  cadeir,  cy^veir,  cysson ; 
Ac  yd  frawd  parhawd  gan  Gerddorion. 
Bum  ynghat  Goddeu,  gan  Lieu  a  Gwydion, 
Wy  a  rithwys  gwydd  elfydd  ag  elestron. 
Bum  i  gan  Vran  yn  Iwerddon. 
Gweleis  pan  laddwyd  morddwyd  Tyllon. 
Cigleu  gyfarfod  am  gerddoridn, 
A  Gwyddyl,  diefyl  diferogion. 
O  Benrhyn  VIeth  hyd  Luch  Reon, 
Cymry  yn  unfryd,  gwrhyd  wriop. 

I  came  to  Teganwy  to  maintain  the  contest  witfe 
Maelgwn,*  the  greate&t  of  delinquents  :  in  the  presence  of 
Deon  t  (the  Distributor),  I  liberated  my  Lord,  even  El' 
j)Aew,;J:  the  sovereign  of  those  who  carry  ears  ofcom.% 

I  have  three  presidencies,  complete  and  concordant,  and 
till  the  doom  shall  they  ifemain  with  the  tuneful  tribe^\\  I  was 
in  the  battle  of  purposes viitla.  Lieu  and  Gwydion,^  who  set 

•  Tl?e  Maglocunus.  of  Gildas— Lord  of  North  Wales,  from  A.  D.  517,  t» 
546,  and  then  naminal  soTei^igQ  of  the  Briton;,  to  the  time  of  his  death,  abpat , 
thr,  jear  560. 

■i  A  Me  ot  Wv,  Bacchus,  ar  tibtr  Paler,  the  Helio^rkit*  god.    Thu*  Af.- 
pendix.  No.  11. 
"  0  Hu,  with  the  expanded  wings— O  father  Deon !" 

t  See  his  character  and  connexions  in  the  3^  Section.   . 

$  That  is,  the  priests  or  votaries  of  Cetcs. 

I  Or  masters  tf  Bardic  lore. 

^  LUu,  the  lti,minary,  was  the  father  of  UinmiCf  the  Diluvian  patriarelv 
PioyrfioB  was  the  ]ij^ritish  Hermti.  See  the  Chair  of  Ceriiuiai,  in  Sect  3.  By 
wffiiigtii  order  tlie  ekmmtary  trees,  is  implied,  lavine. the  frit  foundati*n  ^ 

Wri^tdit  jnemottals,  '  ■*    ■       ■»  ^      -*       •'  f 

No.  I.  APPENDIX.  505 

in  order  the  elementary  trees  and  plants.*  I  was  with 
Brdnf  in  Ireland.  I  saw  when  the  thigh  of  Tyllon  was 
cut.  I  heard  the  conference,  respecting  the  Bards,  with 
the  Gwyddelian,  polluted  fiends. 

From  the  promontory  of  BlethJ  to  Lluch  Reon>  the 
Cymry  are  of  one  mind,  exercising  fortitude. 

Gwaret  dy  Gymry  ynghymelri ! 

Teir  cenedl  gwythlawn,  o  iawn  deithi, 

Gwyddyl,  a  Brython,  a  Khomani, 

A  wahan  dyhedd  a  dyvysgi : 

Ac  am  dierfyn  Prydein,  cein  ei  threfi, 

Ceint  rhag  teyrnedd,  uch  medd  lestri, 

Yngheinion  Deon,  i'm  a'i  dyroddi : 

A'n  dwy  ben  sywed  Ced  ryferthi. 

Ys  cyweir  fy  nghadeir,  ynghaer  Sidi : 

Nis  plawdd  haint  a  henaint  a  fo  yndi. 

Ys  gwyr  Manawjd  a  Phryderi, 

Tair  Orian,  y  am  dan,  a  gan  rhegddi ; 

Ac  am  ei  banneu  ffrydieu  gweilgi, 

A'r  ifynawn  ffrwythlawn  yssydd  odduchti. 

*'Ele$tren,  more  particularly,  mean  the  water  liliet,  or  Jiagt-^the  Lotos  of 
the  Druids. 

^  Bran  ap  Llyr,  Raven,  son  (>f  the  ua,  was  the  traditional  father  of  the 
celebrated  Caractacus.  He  first  introduced  the  mystical  cauldron  into  Ireland, 
probably  with  a  view  to  secure  his  mysteries  from  the;  persecutions  of  the  invad- 
ing Romans.^-Sets  Turner's  Vindic  p.  283. 

The  name  of  this  Ciluvian  priest  is  referable  to  the  raveh  of  Noah. 

Our  mystical  Bard,  like  Pythagoras  of  old,  pretends  to  have  been  present  in 
the  transactions  of  various  ages.  As  he  held  in  the  doctrine  of  Metempsychosis, 
he  blended  his  own  personal  character,  with  that  of  the  TalUtim,  or  priests  of 
the  sun,  who  had  gone  before  him. 

i  Perhaps  .Bfatum  of  the  Itinerary — ^Bu2ni>,  at  the  West  eiid  ef  the  wall  q^ 
Severus,    Liuch  Riion,  the  chief  seat  of  the  Northern  Druids. — See  Sect.  5. 

Oiie  of  the  great  mai(imi  of  the  Dntids  itU^At^^tiat  OfXitv,  to  uercififoT' 
iitade.  Diog.Laert. 

506  APPENDIX.  No.  I. 

Ys  whegach  no'r  gvvin  gwyn  y  Ilyn  yndi— 
Ac  wedi  ath  iolaf,  Oraehaf,  cyn  gweiyd, 
Gorod  cymmod  a  thi !  , 

Deliver  thou  the  Cymry,  in  the  hour  of  tribulation! 
Three  tribes,  cruel  from  native  disposition,  the  Gwydde- 
lians,  the  Britons,*  and  the  Romans,  disturb  owr  tran- 
quillity with  their  tumults':  and  round  the  borders  of  Britain, 
with  its  fair  dwellings,  they  contend  for  the  sovereignty, 
over  vessels  of  mead,  f  even  in  the  pavilions  of  the  dis- 
tributor, who  bestowed  it  upon  me.  The  inundation  will 
surround  us,  the  chief  priests  of  K6d. 

Yet  complete  is  my  chair  in  Caer  Sidi,  %  neither  disorder 
nor  age  will  oppress  him  that  is  within  it.  It  is ,  Known  to 
Manawyd  and  Pryderi,  that  three  loud  strains  round  the 
fire,  will  be  sung  before  it,  whilst  the  currents  of  die  sea 
are  round  its  borders,  and  t^e  copious  foimtain  is  open 
from  above,  the  liquor  within  it  is  sweeter  than  ,  delicious 
wine.  „  ( ;     I 

And  after  I  shall  have  worshipped  thee^  O  thon  Most 
High,  before  I  am  covered  with  the  sod,  may  I  be  found 
in  covenant  with  thee !  §  ,  ; 

*  The  Srython,  when  distinguislied  from  the  Cymry,  or  primitive  inhabitants, 
seem  to  have  been  thf  Belgian  tribes,  whom  the  Triads  place,  in  the  North,  as 
wi'll  as  the  South  of  Briton. 

+  An  allusion  to  the  bloody  feast,  on  the  Cursns,  at  Stonehenge,  where  Depn, 
or  Hu,  held  his  court.  Taliesin,  as  chief  Druid,  and  vicegerent  of  this  god, 
and  of  Kid,  or  Ceres,  claims  the  sovereignty  of  tlie  British  Island.  Had  his 
religion  been  in  full  establishment,  he  would  have  been  acknowledged  as  supteiHe 
judge,  from  whose  t|ficree  there  would  have  been  no  appeal.  Merd^diii,  was 
styled  Sufreine  Judge  of  the  North,  in  ihe  sixth  century.  '"  ' " 

$  In  this  passage,  our  Bard  borrows  his  imagery  from  Diluvian'mythology, 
and  represents  his  sanctuary  as  a  type  of  the  ark. 

§  This  sentiment  often  occurs  in  the  old  Bards.— It  seems  to, express  some 
degree  of  dissatisfaction  in  their  heathenish  mummery,  and  to  import  a  vow  of 
Becoming  Christiafas.-soiuetime  before  their  death.— See  the  first  stanza  cfthft 
loUowing  poem,  •" 

No.  II.  APPENDIX.  507 

No.  II. 

A  Poem  of  Taliesin,  called  Mic  Dinbych,  a  View  of  the 
Bardic  Sanctuary.* 
Archaf  y'wen  i  Dduw  plwyf  esgori. 
Perchen  n£v  a  Ikwr,  pwyll  fawr  wofri, 
Addfwyn  Gaer  y  sydd,  av  GJawr  Gweilgi? 
Bid  llawen  yrighalan  eirian  y  ri ; 
Ac  amser  pan  wna  m6r  mawr  wrhydri, 
Ys  gnawd  gorun  Beirdd  uch  medd  lestri. 
i)yddybydd  gwaneg,  ar  frys,  dybrys  iddi, 
A  ddaw  hwynt  i  werlas  o  glas  Fichti ; 
Ac  am  bwyf,  O  Ddews,  dros  fy  ngweddi. 
Pan  gattwyf  ammod  cymmod  a  thi  ] 

I  will  address  my  prayer  to  God,  that  he  would  deliver 
our  cotnmunity.  +— 

O  thou  Proprietor  of  heaven  and  earth,  to  whom  great 
"Wisdom  is  attributed,  a  holy  sanctuary  there  is  on  the  sur- 
face of  the  ociean  :  may  its  chief  be  joyful  in  the  splendid 
festival,  and  at  the  time  when  the  sea  rises  with  expanding 
energy ! 

Frequently  does  the  surge  asail  the  Bards,  pver  their 
vessels  of  mead  :  and  on  the  day  when  the  billows  are  ex- 
cited, may  this  inclosure  skim  away,  though  the  billows 
come  beyond  the  green  spot,  from  the  region  of  the 

And,  O  God!  May  I  be,  for  the  sake  of  my  ^rayeify 
though  I  preserve  my  institute,  in  covenant  with  thee  I 

*  W.  ArcUajol.  p.  67. 

+  the  whole  language  of  this  Bardic  prayer,  is  strongly  tinctured  with  the 
Diluviani  or  Arkite  lore  of  the  Druids. 

- 1  Tlie  same  Northero  people  with  the  Brythm,  mentioned  in  the  piecediDS 
poenji  •■ 

50a  APPENDIX.  No.  II. 

Addfwyn  Gaer  y  sydd,  ar  lydan  lyn, 
Dinas  diachoE,  m6r  a'i  cylchyn. 
Gvgyvarch  ti,  Prydein,  cwdd  gyngein  hyn? 
Blaen  llyn  ab  Erbin  boed.teu  voyn : 
Bu  gosgordd,  a  b\i  cerdd,  yn  eil  mehyn, 
Ac  eryr,  uch  wybn  allwybr  Gtranwyn, 
Rhag  Udd  ffelig,  nag  esgar  gychwyn. 
Clod  wasgar,  a  Gwanar  ydd  ymddullyn. 

A  holy  sanctuary  there  is,  on  the:  wide  lake ;  a  city  not 
protected  with  walls ;  the  sea  Surrounds  it.  Demandest 
thou,  O  Britain,  to  what  this  can  be  meetly  applied! 
Before  the  lake  of  the  son  of  Erbiii,  let  thy  ox  be"  sta- 
tioned * — there,  where  there  has  been  a  retinue,  and  in  the 
second  place,  a  procession,  and  an  eagle  aloft  in  the  sky, 
q,nd  the  path ,  of  Granwyn  before  the  pervading  sovereign, 
who  would  not  deviate  for  the  tumult  of  those  who  dis.. 
parage  our  praise,  though  they,  were  marshalled  by  their 


Addfwyn  Gaer  y  sydd  ar  don  nawfed, 
Addfwyn  ei  gwerin  yn  ymwared : 
Ni  wnant  eu  dwyn  cyty  trwy  feflh'aed  ; 
Nit  ef  eu  defawd  bod  yn  galed. 
Ni  lefaraf  au,  ar  fy  nhrwydded ; 

*  The  Bard,  by  an  enigmatical  description,  reminds  his  countrymen  of 
the  ancient  solemnities  connected  with  the  iqsalai;  sanctuary.— 1.  The  sacred 
ttx  of  the  patriarch,  the  Ych  Banawg,  is  stationed  before  the  lake,  ready  to 
draw  the  Avaiie  pr  Shrine  to  land,  out  of  its  watery  repository, — S.  It  is  the. 
lake  of  Ermnt  ab  Ertin,  or  of  'the  vessel  of  the  Itifty  chiefs, — 3.  The  retinue  of 
priests  assembled  on  the  occasion,  and  joined  in  the  mystical  procession. — i.  The 
eagle,  or  symbol  of  the  sun,  was  placed  aloft  in  the  sfcj(,  that  is,  in  the  open 
athereal  temple,  which  is  often  so  called. — 5.  There  ,was  the  representation 
of  the  path  of.  Gr^nwyn^  or  Apollor-^an  image  of  the  ecliptic,  in  which  the 
pomp  was  conducted^  preceded  by  the  waving  eagle. — And  6,  this  was  done 
in  the  presence  of  the  great  sovereign,  or  the  sun  himself — that  is, .  it  was  4 
diuro»l  selebiaden,  whiclt  cosuiienlced  at  th«  iawn, — Se«  No.  i. 

No.-II.  APPENDIX.  509 

Nog  eillion  deudraeth  gwell  caeth  t)yved. 
Cyweithydd  ,o  rydd  wledd  waredied  ; 
Cynnwys  rhwng  ,pob  deu  goreu  ciwed. 

A  holy  sanctuary  there  is,  upon  the  ninth  wave.  Holy 
are  its  inhabitants,  in  preserving  themselves.  They  will 
not  associate  in  the  bonds  of  pollution.  It  is  not  their  es- 
tablished custom  to  act  with  severity.  I  will  not  abuse  my 
privilege,  in  declaring  a  falsehood.  The  restrained  man  of 
Dyved*  is  better  than  the  shaved  ones,  of  the  two  strands. 

-If  our  associate  gives  the  banquet  of  the  Preservers  1"^ 
mutual  harmony  amongst  brethren  is  the  best  society. 
■  4. 

Addfvvyn  Gaer  y  sydd:  a'i  gwna  cyman, 
Meddut,  amolut,  at  adar  ban. 
Llyfn  ei  cherddau,  yn  ei  chalan : 
A'm  Arglwydd  hywydd,  iJea>r  eirian, 
Cyn  ei  fyned  yn  ei  adwyd,  yn  derfyn  llan, 
Ef  a'm  rhoddes  medd  a  gwiii  o  wydrifl  ban. 
A  holy  sanctuary  there  is-^it  is  rendered  complete  by  the 
rehearsal,    the  hymn  and  ,  the   birds    of   the   mountain  ."J 
Smooth  are  its  lays> .  in  its  periodical  festival-:  and  my  lord,§ 
duly  observant  of  the  splendid  mover,  before  he  entered  his 
earthly  cell,  in  the  border  of  the  circle,  -gave  me  mead  and 
wine  out  of  t,he  deep  crystal  cup. . 

Addfvvyn  Gaer  y  sydd  yn  yr.Eglan; 
Addfwyn  y  i'hoddir,  i  bawb,  ei  ran. 

*  Demetia^  Fembtokeshire,  aiid  \^e  neighbouring  dist^icts^. 

+  The  Cabwi»  the  deities  of  Arkite,  inytholbg/.'-"Sde  CndaiT^Ctriiietn,  in 
the  third  Section,  .        

X  The  Bard  distinguisUes  three  pstticalars  in  the  business  of  his  sanctiiary. 
1.  The  rehearsal  of  ancient  lore.  3.  The  chaunting  of  hymns,  in  honour  of 
the  gods.    3.  ,The  interpretation  of  their  will,  by  bjrds  of  augury. 

§  T'lte  hierophaiit^  by  whom  the  Bard,  had  been  initiated,  and  of  whom  be 

bad  received  thewead  and  wine,  or  the  YLfmWv  of  the  British  Ceres. 

510  APPENDIX.  No.  II. 

Adwen,  yn  Ninbych,  gorwen  Gwylan, 
Cyweithydd  wlewMjudd,  Udd  Erlyssan : 
Oedd  ef  fy  njewaasdd^  nos  Galan, 
Lleddfawd  y.gan  ri,  ryfel  eiran, 
A  lien,  Uiw  ehoeg,  a  meddn  prain ; 
Hyn  a  fwyf  tafawd  ar  feirdd  Prydain. 
A  hpiy  sanctuary  there  is,  within  the  gulf;  there,  every 
one  is  kindly  presented  with  his  portion. 

I  knew  the  eminently  white  sea-mew  *  in  Dinbych — the 
meek  associate — the  lord  of  the  supreme  court:  it  was  my 
custom  to  attend,  on  the  eve  of  the  festival,  to  what  the 
ruler  sweetly  sung  (the  war  of  the  splendid  one+)  with  my 
robe  of  bright  green,J  possessing  a  place  in  the  asstembly. 
Hence  my  word  is  paramount  over  the  Bards  of  Britain. 

Addfwyn  Gaer  y  sydd,  a,'i  cyffrwy  Ced  wn ; 

Oedd  meu  eirhydau,  a  ddewisswn. 

Ni  lyfaraf  i  daifh  rhaith  rysgattwn: 

Ni  ddyly  celenhig  ni  wyppo  hwn. 

Ysgrifen  Brydain,  ■  bryder  brifFwn; 

Yn  yd  wna  tonneu  eu  hamgyffrwn, 

Pe  reit,  hyd  bell-  i  gell  attreiddwn. 

*  By  the  description  which  is  "given  of  this  sta-mew,  it  is  evident,  he  was  no 
other  than  the  hieiophant,  or  chief  Druid,  mentioned  above.  Hywel,  the  son 
of  Owen,  describes  the  Druids  under  the  same  figure.  The  choice  of  this 
aquatic  bird  as  their  symbol,  arose  from  their  Arkite  rites,  and  Diluvian  my> 
thology.  Amongst  the  ancients,  the  sea  mew  was  the  symbol  of  Minerva,  'as 
an  Arkite  goddess. — See  Faber's  CaiirU  V.  I.  p.  106.  185j  &c. 

The  sanctuary,  or  sacred  island,  which  was  fabled  to  have  wandered  from 
place  to  place,  like  the  ark  of  old,  now  fixes  itself  ftpon  the  border  of  the  ' 
flood,  and  proves  to  be  the  insular  spot,  now  containing  the  town  of  Tenby,  in 
Pembrokeshire :  for  it  is  evident,  from  -what  the  Bard  had  said  before,  that  he 
means  Dinbych,  in  Drfoed.  This  is  bat  a  jsmall  distance  from  Arlierth,  High 
Grove,  the  chief  seat  of  the  mystical  Pwyll,    See  Sect.  V. 

f  Probably,  some  ancient  and  sacred  poem  upon  the  adventures  of  the  He- 
tio-arkite  god. 

J  Green  was  the  colour  of  the  ovate,  or  of  him  who  had  already  been  ini- 
tiated into  the  first  pciaciplet  of  Bardism,  6ce  Owen's  Diet.  \.'Glain  and 

No.  11.  APPENDIX.  5U 

A  holy  sanctuary  there  is,  with  its  productions  of  the 
vessel  of  K6d*— I  ipossEssed  myself  of  its  courses,  which  I 
had  made  my  choicei  I  will  not  disclose  the  progress  of 
the  law,  which  I  religiously  observe.  He  who  knows  not 
this,  is  not  entitled  to  the  perquisite  at  the  festival. 

The  waitings  oi  Britaik-^  areAe  first  object  of  anxious 
regard :  should  the  iwaves  disturb  their  foundation,  I  would 
again,  if  necessary,  conceal  them  deep  in  the  cell; 

Addfwyji  Gaer  y  sydd  yn  arddwyrejn : 
Gqchawn  y  meddut  y  molut  gyfrein. 
Addfwyn,  ar  ei  hSr,  esgor  gynrhein. 
Godde  gwrych,dymbi,  Mr  ei  hadein, 
Dychyrch  bar  earreg,  creg  ei  hadnein. 
Llid  y  mewn  tyriged :  treidded  troth  mein ; 
A  bleiddud  gorllwyd  goreu  affein. 
Dimpyner,  odduch  pwy,  Lllad  cofein. 
Bendith  culwydd  nef  gydlef  afein 
Arnyn,  gwnel  yn  frowyr  gorwyr  Owein, 

A  holy  sanctuary  there  is,  exalting  itself  on  high.  The 
small  reeds,  with  joined  points,'  declare  its  praise :  fair,  in, 
its  borders,  the  first  points  shoot  forth. 

,     f„Tihe  cauldron  of  ^spirftion,  implying  the  mysteries  of  'Bardism. '  See 
Sect.  III. 

+  Or  writings  of  _Prt/tJain,  wljp^was.fjie  same,as,jHn,  See  Ko.  11..  We  may 
gather  from  hence,  that  the  Druids  had  certain  ancient  writings,  which  they 
deemed  more  sacred  by  far,  and  of  greater  importance,  than  those  songs  and 
tales,  which  were  made 'piibltc,  or  recited  in  the  ears  of  the  people.  These 
writing?,  had  already  been  concealed  in.timea  of  persecution,  probably  doVipg 
the.Rpjnan  government :  and  they  were  knawn  only  to  the  Druids,  or  Bards  6f 
ithe  highest  oirdeir;  forTaliesin  tells  usj  thaitin  case  of  necessityii  he  possessed 
the  effectual  means,  of  concealing  them  against  We  can  only  guess,  in  general, 
that  these  arcana  comprehended  the  saoced  history,  and  rituals  of  the  Drnids, 
together  with  tiie  rules  .of  idivination,  and  most  mysterious  doctrines  of  the  an- 
cient priesthoo